June 25 (UPI) -- Japan has canceled plans to deploy Aegis Ashore land-based missile interceptions systems at two sites in Japan.
"After deliberations at the NSC, we have come to the decision to cancel the deployment in Yamaguchi and Akita prefectures," KonoDefense Minister Taro Kono said Thursday, referring to Wednesday's closed-door meeting of the National Security Council chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The decision comes on the heels of a June 15 announcement that Japan had suspended plans to deploy the U.S.-developed Aegis Ashore system, citing technical issues and mounting costs.
This week Kono said the Defense Ministry had struggled to find alternate sites for the two missile batteries.
Japan's military had planned to deploy it to counter threats from North Korean missiles, but increasing problems raised the $2.15 billion estimated cost to over $4 billion, including purchase cost and an expected 30-year use.
In mid-June Kono said the country would continue to rely on Aegis-equipped destroyers to supply missile defense, but would consider other options in the future.