Nikkei wrote that the Defense Ministry’s plan to deploy Aegis Ashore batteries at two SDF bases beginning in FY2023 may be postponed due to a delay in the development of the radar system to be installed on the missile defense platform by Lockheed Martin. As the production of Solid State Radar (SSR) is expected to take five years, the system may not become operational until FY2024 or later. The proposed participation of a Japanese defense contractor in the SSR development was reportedly aborted on the grounds that its involvement would further delay the production by eight months. The article added that the Japanese government will now have to negotiate with the USG on how to share the cost for the radar development, pointing out that Washington is asking Tokyo to pay part of the cost of constructing a testing facility and conducting interception tests. The paper quoted Defense Minister Iwaya as saying at the Diet in March: “If Japan is required to shoulder such expenses, we will need to hold negotiations [with the U.S.] on reducing the overall cost.” The GOJ reportedly signed a contract with the USG in April on the payment of almost 140 billion yen ($1.3 billion) to cover part of the cost of purchasing the Aegis Ashore batteries.