The Japanese government on Tuesday approved the installation of two land-based missile defence systems to counter the growing nuclear threat from North Korea, The Japan Times reported. The government’s decision will allow the country’s defence ministry to purchase two Aegis Ashore systems and deploy them in different locations by 2023.

The daily quoted unidentified defence ministry officials as saying that the cost of each system could be more than ¥100 billion (Rs 5,690 crore). However, the country’s defence minister did not confirm this.

“We cannot say what the final costs will be, but we will move ahead [to introduce the missile defence system] on the fastest possible schedule, given public calls that the government should deal as swiftly and urgently as possible with the ballistic missile defence issue,” Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said at a press conference.

In a document, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said North Korea’s nuclear and missile development poses a “new level of threat” to Japan’s security. The document added that Japan needs to “fundamentally improve our ballistic missile defence abilities to protect our country at all times and in a sustainable manner.”

The systems, which are United States-made, are a collection of radars, computers and missiles, The Japan Times reported. The Aegis Ashore system would protect the entire country, from Hokkaido to Okinawa Prefecture, the government said.