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Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, speaks during his reappointment ceremony as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015.Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Japan reports that its inflation rate remained flat in August, as low oil prices slowed progress toward the government's 2 per cent target.

The 0.2 per cent rate last month matched the rate seen in July while the core consumer price index, excluding volatile food prices, fell 0.1 per cent after remaining flat in July.

With oil prices below $50 a barrel, upward pressure on prices has eased, hindering efforts by the central bank to push inflation higher. The government has made that a key aim of its strategy for forcing the world's third-largest economy out of the deflationary doldrums that it says is stifling growth.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday an update of his economic policies, setting a target for a 600 trillion yen ($5-trillion) economy, but providing few details.