Consumer prices fell by 1.2 per cent in February compared to a year earlier.
Many analysts expected the Bank of Japan to ease monetary policy to get the debt-laden economy back on track.
Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute, said: "It's still a long way before Japan pulls out of deflation. The Bank of Japan apan said they will patiently maintain very easy monetary policy.
"They really need to do so for a very long time to escape deflation."