The government may require publicly traded companies to hire outside directors to enhance corporate governance standards as the Nikkei average trades near two-decade lows.

A 20-member panel led by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry aims to unveil a plan in June that will urge changes to corporate law or listing rules, according to Hiroaki Niihara, director of METI's Corporate System Division.

The Justice Ministry and the stock exchanges are prepared to take action to enforce the recommendations once the report is completed, Niihara said.