Sunday’s Nikkei gave front- and inside-page play to reports on its one-on-one interview with USTR Tai conducted on Friday concerning the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), the new U.S.-led economic initiative launched by President Biden in Japan on May 23. According to the paper, USTR Tai said the United States will “think about mechanisms for verifying that the rules are being followed” by member states in such areas as digital trade in order to enhance the effectiveness of IPEF. The USTR also reportedly expressed the intention to start formal IPEF negotiations by summer. The paper said IPEF will focus on four pillars—fair and resilient trade, supply chain resilience, infrastructure and clean energy, and taxes and anti-corruption—and seek high-level rules making in digital trade, labor, and the environment. Each nation will be allowed to select which pillar or pillars to engage in, the paper said. Concerning the TPP, the daily wrote that while the Japanese side is hoping that the IPEF will prompt the United States to return to the TPP, USTR Tai denied such a view by saying that “the IPEF is valuable in and of itself” and the United States is committed to it.