TOKYO, May 31 (Reuters) - Japan's core consumer prices fell 0.4 percent in April from a year earlier, marking the sixth straight month of declines, government data showed on Friday, underscoring the challenges the central bank faces in meeting its 2 percent inflation target.
The fall in the core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes volatile prices of fresh food, matched a median market forecast, and followed a 0.5 percent year-on-year decline in March.
Core consumer prices in Tokyo, available a month before the nationwide data, rose 0.1 percent in May from a year earlier, compared with a market forecast for a 0.2 percent decline. They fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier in April.
For background on the data, see PREVIEW