Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's coalition partner warned that a proposal to broaden the military's role to strike back against enemy attacks risks upsetting Japan's neighbors.

"Japan has gained the trust of neighboring countries by adopting an exclusively defensive posture," Natsuo Yamaguchi, who leads the Buddhist-backed Komeito party, said in an interview Monday. "To take an action undermining that could cause friction."

Yamaguchi, 64, was responding to questions about how Japan should bolster its defenses against a potential ballistic-missile attack from North Korea. The country launched its latest missile earlier that day.