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  ISSUE 19/2008 1 October, 2008  

Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

To further develop the chamber and its activities the FCCJ board has held once a year a brainstorming meeting at the Embassy with a sauna and dinner session with the Ambassador.

This year the event took place on 16 September with all but one board member attending. After a two hour internal session (pictured above) Ambassador Jorma Julin and First Secretary Juha Niemi joined for sauna (no camera allowed...) and dinner (lower picture), where a lively exchange of views and ideas took place.

Items discussed included the coming election of new EBC Chairperson and the need for a social security agreement between Finland and Japan.

The FCCJ has been fortunate to have such a strong support and involvement from our ambassadors and my thanks goes to Ambassador Julin for his cooperation and hospitality

Note that the FCCJ office will be closed from Friday until next week Wednesday due to overseas travel.

Report from the North America- Europe Golf Challenge Friday 26 September
Team North America takes the Daimler & Chrysler Cup!

The European and North American business communities in Tokyo held their sixth friendly golf tournament at Atsugi Kokusai Country Club on 26 September in fine and warm weather.

With Daimler Japan (Mercedes Benz Japan) and Chrysler Japan as the title sponsor and 33 other sponsors, the tournament brought together 131 players from the American and Canadian Chambers of Commerce on one side and the European Business Council chamber members on the other side. FCCJ had 10 players in the event.

Playing the new peoria (shin-peria) scoring system and calculating an average score for the best 80% of each team, the North American team came out on top by 0.86 strokes.

For more about the event, click link at right.
Report from the FCCJ Luncheon on Thursday 18 September

Dr. Jukka Viitanen
At the luncheon meeting held on Thursday 18 September we got update on the recent changes within the organizations promoting Finland in Japan, including the creation of FinNode Japan, the Finnish Innovation Center and the move of Finnish Tourist Board functions to Finpro.

We had three speakers: Jukka Viitanen, FinNode, Kaj Forsell, Finpro and Shigeyoshi Noto, Finpro/Visit Finland. In addition, Samuli Pahkala, FCCJ Board member and Vice Chairman of the Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) gave a brief introduction to the 15th JMEC program, and Eero Tammila announced the recent aviation agreement between Finland and Japan giving Finnair daily connections with Tokyo from 2010.

For more about the event, attended by 41 participants, click link below.
Monday, 20 October - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting
Marutei Tsurunen: "Conditions to achieve a change of government"

Our next luncheon meeting will be held on Monday, 20 October, where we will have an exciting guest speaker, Mr. Marutei Tsurunen, Member of the House of Councillors. The theme of his presentation is: "Conditions to achieve a change of government".

Date & Time:Monday, 20 October, 12:00-14:00
Place: Hotel Okura , South Wing 12F, Kensington Terrace [MAP]
Cost: members 7,000 yen, non-members 8,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Thursday, 16 October

Profile of Mr. Tsurunen
In 1967 he traveled to Japan as a lay missionary of the Lutheran Church. In 1974 he met his second wife, Sachiko, and he became enamored with the country. Having decided to become Japanese, he gained his citizenship in 1979 and took on a Japanese version of his Finnish name. Over the next decade, Tsurunen completed the first Finnish translations of The Tale of Genji and several other Japanese books while teaching English in Kanagawa prefecture.

In 1992 he ran for the town assembly in Yugawara and was elected. He served on the Yugawara assembly until 1995, when he made his first bid for the House of Councillors and lost. In 2001 he again failed to achieve a seat but was the first runner-up for the DPJ. After the resignation of Kyosen Ohashi, Tsurunen finally entered the House of Councillors on 4 October 2002 and was re-elected in 2007.

If you would like to attend and have not yet registered, please click link at right!
To check who has already registered, click HERE!
Friday, 7 November - Stora Enso Cup
Sweden - Finland Golf Challenge 2008

The 14th Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge (team competition between the Swedish and the Finnish Chambers), the Stora Enso Cup, is played on Friday 7 November for a trophy donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K. Members of the Swedish Chamber will also play for their Autumn Golf Cup.

Date & Time:Friday, 7 November 2008 (start from no. 1 and 10, first tee-off at 10:02)
Venue: Taiheiyo Club Ichihara Course
151 Okuno, Ichihara-shi, Chiba 290-0513 MAP
Cost:16,250 yen (incl. green fee, lunch with one drink and party after play) to be settled directly to the club
Registration:by Wednesday, 28 October, by enclosed form or mailing  mailing me 
(note: remember to give your HCP)

For a flyer of the event, which also includes the access map and registration form, click link below.
Friday, 24 October
Finnish-Japanese Chamber of Commerce Luncheon in Helsinki

Our sister organization in Helsinki, the Finnish-Japanese Chamber of Commerce, organizes a luncheon meeting on Friday, 24 October. Any FCCJ member who happens to be in Helsinki on that day is welcome to attend.
The luncheon is organized on the occasion of the visit of a delegation from Sendai City and Sendai-FWBC Project.

For more information and registration details, click link at right.

The Cabinet Office Questionnaire on Measures under the Action Program

The Cabinet Office has asked the EBC's assistance in distributing the Cabinet Office's annual survey on public procurement in Japan.

Completed questionnaires (English/Japanese versions linked below) and any questions that you may have regarding this exercise should be addressed to:

Mr. Eiichi Kaga, the Office of Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968
Tel: 03-5253-2111 ext 82441 Fax: 03-3593-2259
E-mail: eiichi.kaga@cas.go.jp

Deadline for submission is 17 October. Please mail, fax or e-mail the form to Mr. Kaga.
News from Finland

Finnish PM laments rejection of US bailout plan

Matti Vanhanen (centre), the Finnish prime minister, said Tuesday that the rejection of the US government's 700-billion-dollar financial bailout plan by the House of Representatives was apt to raise interest rates in Finland.

He added the failure of the plan to win congressional backing might also hurt economic growth in the Nordic country.

The prime minister repeated that the fundamentals of Finland's financial institutions were sound. Mr Vanhanen said it was important for the US lawmakers to "adjust" their decision to reject the bailout package.

"Considering there are so many uncertain receivables in the banks, they will not turn from red to black with this kind of waiting," Mr Vanhanen told the Finnish News Agency (STT).

He added that the US government and congress should find a solution where bad credit was separated from healthy operations.

"Unfortunately we now have to wait for this to happen when time is at a premium."

Grin of the week

Aiming right?

Bob stood over his tee short on the 18th hole for what seemed like forever. He'd waggle, look down, look up, but never start his backswing.
Finally David, his playing partner, asked, "Why on Earth are you taking so long to make this shot?"

"My wife is up there watching me from the clubhouse, and I want to make this shot a good one," said Bob.

"Good Lord," said David, "you haven't got a chance of hitting her from here."

Best regards

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


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 65 corporate members, 16 individual and one special member.