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Japan's plan for 2 superdestroyers to cost more than Aegis Ashore

Defense Ministry's estimate is up to 25% higher than US-made missile shield

Japan plans to order two more warships based on a Maya-class destroyer equipped with SPY-7 radars. (Photo by Masamichi Hoshi)

TOKYO -- Building two Aegis-equipped warships as an alternative to the American-made, land-based Aegis Ashore missile shield would cost Japan 20% to 25% more, according to Defense Ministry estimates compiled Tuesday.

The price tag for two superdestroyers ranges between 480 billion and 500 billion yen ($4.59 billion to $4.79 billion), compared with 400 billion yen for the now-canceled plan to install a pair of Aegis Ashore systems. The figures, based on numbers provided by two private contractors, will be presented to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's defense committee Wednesday.

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