Japan's core consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent in October from a year earlier in line with market expectations, government data showed Friday.
The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile food prices, rose for the three months to September in part due to an increase in energy prices, but Japan in general remains mired in a deflationary trend of falling prices.
The country's nascent recovery from the March earthquake and tsunami has been floundering due to a stubbornly strong yen and softening global demand.
The fall in October, which reversed a 0.2 percent year-on-year rise in September, also came after the previous year's hikes in tobacco tax and nonlife insurance premiums tapered off.
The core index for the Tokyo metropolitan area -- an early indicator of price trends for the rest of Japan -- fell by an estimated 0.5 percent in November from a year earlier.