BOJ officials had flagged levels around 2.0% in April.
Japan's April annual core consumer inflation rate rose 2.1% y/y, for the highest level since March 2015 and the eighth straight gain, data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication released on Friday showed.
Bank of Japan officials had flagged an increase of near 2.0% for the April data.
The gain was due mainly due to a smaller drop in mobile phone charges from March. Underlying inflation measured by the core-core CPI (excluding fresh food and energy) rose 0.8% y/y in April. Energy costs fell slightly from March, See: MNI INTERVIEW: BOJ Should Review 2% Target-Ex Senior Official.