Japan’s core consumer prices fell 0.4 percent in August from a year earlier, the first time in three months partly owing to lowering of hotel charges through a government-backed travel discount program, the government said in a report. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the nationwide core consumer price index, excluding volatile fresh food items, stood at 101.3 against a base of 100 in 2015. The index remained flat in June and July after declining for two straight months in April and May amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Go To Travel” campaign, which kicked off in late July, and other factors pushed down hotel charges by 32 percent in the reporting month. “The government’s travel subsidy campaign directly hit overall prices,” said a ministry official. Prices of kerosene and gasoline fell 10.9 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, from a year earlier, while those of overseas package tours were down 3.2 percent, the latest report showed. Meanwhile, core-core consumer prices, which exclude fresh food and energy items, edged down 0.1 percent from a year earlier, posting the first decline since March 2017. When excluding the impact of the consumption tax increase and a free preschool education and nursery program both introduced in last October, core consumer prices lost 0.8 percent in August, compared with a 0.3 percent drop in July, the ministry also said.