Core consumer prices in Japan jumped 4.2% in January from a year earlier, rising at the fastest pace since September 1981 on higher energy and food prices, government data showed Friday.

Excluding volatile fresh food items, the core consumer price index was above the Bank of Japan's 2% inflation target for the 10th straight month, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said, though the central bank views the trend as temporary.

The ministry said that due to the government's decision to subsidize utility bills for consumers, electricity and gas prices are expected to be lower in February.