Yomiuri and Asahi front-paged reports on a plan by the Biden administration to launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) later this month. Yomiuri projected that the United States will announce the launch when President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida meet in Tokyo on May 23. The paper speculated that the U.S.-led framework will include Japan, Australia, India, South Korea, and Southeast Asian nations. The paper also conjectured that with China in mind, the United States will seek to establish an economic zone with likeminded nations through cooperating on rulemaking for data distribution and establishing supply chains. Asahi speculated that the move is aimed at countering China’s growing presence by establishing a new framework for economic cooperation in the region. The paper wrote, however, that it remains to be seen how many Asian countries will join the initiative because it does not envisage tariff cuts as implemented in the TPP. Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno told reporters on Tuesday that Japan welcomes the IPEF as demonstrating the United States’ commitment to the Indo-Pacific and said that Japan will work closely with the United States on the initiative.