Japan's ruling parties agreed Friday that the country should pledge to acquire a "counterstrike capability" to address the rapid deterioration of the regional security environment, heralding a major shift in the nation's security policy.

The Liberal Democratic Party had advocated obtaining an enemy base strike capability, while its junior coalition partner Komeito, known as a pacifist party, had been wary that such a move would constitute a change in Japan's exclusively self-defense-oriented policy.

The capability, which would allow Japan to fire upon and disable enemy missiles before they are launched from foreign territory, remains controversial among legal experts given that Japan has pursued pacifism under its war-renouncing Constitution since 1947.