UPDATE 1-Japan consumer sentiment worsens as prices seen up

  (Adds details, government assessment)
 TOKYO, July 11 (Reuters) - Japanese consumer confidence
worsened in June from three months earlier on a seasonally
adjusted basis, as more people expect prices to rise over the
next year, a government survey showed on Wednesday.
 The Cabinet Office survey's sentiment index for general
households, which includes views on incomes and jobs, was 44.3 in
June, down from 46.7 in March.
 That was the lowest since 44.0 in June 2004. A reading below
50 suggests consumer pessimism.
 On an unadjusted basis, the index fell to 45.0 in June from
47.3 in May, according to the survey, which asks general and
single-person households to rate the outlook on living
conditions, incomes, job conditions and willingness to buy
durable goods.
 The Cabinet Office also downgraded its assessment of Japanese
consumer confidence, saying it is somewhat weak. Previously, it
said it was largely flat.
 "A weak yen and rises in crude oil prices have pushed up
prices of oil products. In addition, prices of products that are
closely related to households such as mayonnaise rose," an
official from the Cabinet Office told reporters, adding that
consumers seemed to be more aware of inflation.
 "Thus, consumers seem to be cautious about future spending.
But we still need to see if this is a one-off phenomena or a
lasting trend," he added.
 Seasonally adjusted figures are released only quarterly.
 The survey showed 66.6 percent of over 3,600 general
households polled expected prices to rise over the next year, up
sharply from 53.5 percent in May and the highest since the 67.3
percent hit in September last year.
 "General households" are those with two or more people.
 The survey began to be conducted face-to-face from May.
Previously, some surveys were conducted by phone, which was
thought to affect responses.
 Economists and government officials had warned against
comparing monthly figures because the poll tended to show weaker
readings in March, June, September and December, when it was
conducted face-to-face. In other months it was done by phone.
Following is a breakdown:
 (adjusted)                JUNE      MARCH     DEC       SEPT
 General households        44.3      46.7      47.0      46.1
 (unadjusted)              JUNE      MAY; +81-3-3432-9082;