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  ISSUE 8/2011 1 April 2011  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

It has so far been a very quiet April Fools' Day in Japan, and although it would be nice to see more smiles on peoples faces, the severity of the situation, especially in the hard stricken areas in Tohoku but also from the uncertainty surrounding the nuclear facilities in Fukushima, dampens the hoaxes, at least publicly.

Unfortunately it seems that the nuclear situation will remain uncertain for weeks, if not months, to come. Saw on Japanese TV last night an estimate by an expert that it could take up to six months to bring the situation to a stage where an "all safe" could be declared, unless some magic tricks can be found. And then it will take up to 10 years to clean up all the mess.

The reconstruction work in Tohoku area will of course also take years but I have no doubt in my mind that it will be successful, with the resilience, fighting spirit and positive attitude of the Japanese people, and assisted by foreign aid. And there every day is a step forward to a better future. In Fukushima you feel that it is one step forward, two steps back, two steps forward, one step back.... let's just hope that there are more steps forward than back...

Fortunately for us living in Tokyo and south of here, the situation has stabilized. Radiation levels are very low (and keep going down), water contamination is also far below safety limits. The infrastructure works pretty normally and no electricity black-outs for a week (central Tokyo never had any), no restrictions on gasoline and although some foodstuff and water are out of stock from time to time,

We have been operational throughout the crisis and have tried our best to monitor the situation at Finnish companies and the Finns at these companies as well as providing them with information. The good news today is that all companies are now basically operating normally, and most of those (rather few) who evacuated have returned to Tokyo. I think it is important for all of us, in doing our share of rebuilding the confidence, try to go on with our business as normal, and support our Japanese colleagues in these tough times.

Good news is also that our Embassy is back in Tokyo Read more about that below.

  Update from the Embassy of Finland
  • The Embassy has re-opened in Tokyo on 30 March.
    Therefore, it will be possible to organise the advance voting in the parliamentary elections in Tokyo too on 6-9 April. The number of staff in Tokyo will be increased gradually as the safety situation improves.
    The Embassy operations in the Hiroshima office will also continue for the time being. With the aid of the Hiroshima office, the Ministry ensures that the Embassy will be able to perform its tasks in Japan under any circumstances.
  • The travel advisory from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has been changed. e.g. The Ministry no longer advises Finns to leave the Greater Tokyo area and transfer to Southern Japan. The latest advisory can be found: here (in Finnish and Swedish):
  • Rhere will be an informtion and discussion event for Finnish citizens on Saturday, 9 April at 15:00 at the Embassy of Finland. More information can be found here.
  • The Embassy provides Iodine tablets for Finnish citizens. If you think you need, please contact the Embassy.
  • The Embassy provides information and situation reports mostly on Facebook and Twitter but also on their home page.
Disaster Relief

We know that many individuals and companies are contributing in various ways in the relief efforts. Apart from participating in the joint EU relief efforts, the Finnish Government has donated 500,000 euros.
Below a couple of examples on how you or your company could participate, if you want to help those in need.

Finnair's Relief Efforts
Finnair is, apart from flying according to schedule, and directly, its routes between Helsinki and Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, also promoting the relief efforts in different ways, e.g. collecting donations on their flights, encouraging frequent flyers to donate their milage points. Finnair is also collecting and distributing goods to help the schools in one of their crew member's home town (Ichinoseki, Iwate Pref).. Click here to see what is needed, and how you should proceed, very simple and practical!

EBC Disaster Relief Fund
The European Business Council in Japan (EBC) has established a disaster relief fund to help those in need. They hope to combine the significant resources of European businesses in Japan and thereby make a significant contribution to the massive relief effort that is taking place.
For more information and sign-up form, click link below.

EBC Disaster Relief Fund

Monday, 11 April - Members Only
FCCJ Annual General Assembly The 12th Ordinary Annual General Assembly of FCCJ will be held as originally planned at the

Embassy of Finland on

Monday, 11 April, 2011 at 17.00

The Assembly will handle matters according to Article 9 in the Articles of Association of the FCCJ.

Dinner at 18:00
After the Assembly we will have a dinner hosted by Ambassador Jari Gustafsson. At the dinner we will discuss the current issues relating to the disaster.

This is a member only event and he dinner is free for one representative/member.
If you would like to attend, please click link at right!
To check who has registered, click HERE!

Friday, 22 April - Stora Enso Cup
Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge - Spring 2011

As of now, he 18th Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge - the Stora Enso Cup, is scheduled to be played as planned, i.e. on Friday, 22 April. But as the Swedish Chamber has not yet made a final decision on the event, the situation might change.

We have as of now about 15 players signed up from FCCJ, so if the Swedish Chamber cancels, we might play it as our own event. So if you are interested and have not yet sign-up, do so. And if you have signed up and have changed your mind, or have an opinion on if we should play or not, mail me!

The venue is Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West, in Shizuoka prefecture. First tee-off is at 8:42 and the cost is 18,510 yen, all included (play fee, caddie, lunch and party after play).

For a flyer of the event, which also includes the access map and registration form, click link below.
Hope you have a good and relaxing weekend and
Best regards

Clas G. Bystedt
If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
send it to:

This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 650 recipients among its members and related organizations.

FCCJ was established in April 1999 to promote trade and economic exchange between Japan and Finland and has today 62 corporate members, 16 individual and one special member.