Yomiuri led with a report claiming that the Ministry of Defense is estimating that the cost of deploying two Aegis Ashore batteries could increase to 400 billion yen, double the initial quotation.
Yomiuri and all other national dailies reported that on Wednesday the ministry announced the postponement of the planned invitation of tenders for geological surveys at candidate sites for the deployment out of consideration for local communities’ concerns. Asahi wrote that the Defense Ministry’s plan to deploy two Aegis Ashore batteries in Akita and Yamaguchi Prefectures has been delayed due to the local concerns. The paper also wrote that although Defense Minister Onodera said last year that the per-unit cost of the batteries would be around 80 billion yen, his ministry later revised the estimate to about 100 billion yen. The paper wrote that Onodera, however, effectively retracted his earlier estimate by saying at a news conference on Tuesday that he has never spoken about the cost estimate for the Aegis Ashore batteries. The paper wrote that there is a view within the ministry that the total cost of deploying the two Aegis Ashore units and related facilities, including radar, could rise to 500 billion yen.