Japan should make preparations to issue a digital yen "without delay" and treat it as legal tender that would coexist with cash, a government panel of experts said Wednesday.

The nine-member panel under the Finance Ministry said any central bank digital currency (CBDC), or a digital yen, should be usable "by anyone, anytime and anywhere" and compatible with other private companies' digital payment services.

Currently, Japan does not have specific plans to introduce a digital yen. However, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has launched a pilot program to study the feasibility of implementing such a currency.