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  ISSUE 28/2012 1 November 2012  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

The theme for our high-profile luncheon event with Mr. Yoshiyuki Kasai, Chairman and Representative Director of JR Central on Wednesday 14 November, has now been decided; "Challenges Japan faces in the 21st century".
Read more about the luncheon below.

We have now more information about the Stora Enso Cup, the golf challenge between FCCJ and SCCJ, on Friday 30 November. Read below for more information.

The registration for the Scandinavian Christmas Party held on Friday, 7 December is open. Sign-up soon to secure your seat(s), we also need more sponsors, so please consider that too! More below!

The 22st Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey
Chased by Challenges and Restricted by Environment

The Foreign Chambers in Japan (FCIJ) has been conducting Business Confidence surveys online twice a year since 2002 among foreign-affiliated companies in Japan. This, the 22nd, survey was conducted between October 16 and 26, 2012, and received 329 valid responses from members of 17 foreign chambers of commerce and business organizations.
The survey was run and processed on behalf of all the chambers by the FCCJ.

This survey shows that all indexes, from views on the Japanese economy to the performance of the companies, as well as their forecasts for the future, declined about 15-25% from the Spring 2012 survey conducted in April. But apart from the views on the Japanese economy in the short term, all indices were still positive. The Japanese economy for the next 6 months is expected remain flat - the index (on a scale from +2 to -2) was now -0.01 (compared to +0.47 in April), and looking 12 months ahead, the companies see a slight turn for the better, index was +0.19, although still much lower than the +0.67 in the previous survey.

The concerns regarding the economy and lower reported and forecasted growth in the companies performance, could now, based on the comments the respondents made, be to a fairly large extent attributed to external factors, such as the European debt crises, the troubled Japan-China relations and uncertainties regarding the US economy.

The strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan continue to be rather bullish. 74% (73% in the April survey) are looking for further growth and 20% are expecting to sustain their current level. 4% are planning to downsize, but only 2% are considering withdrawing from Japan (five companies out of the surveyed 326, all North American affiliates).

For the full report, click links at right!

Wednesday, 14 November - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting
Yoshiyuki Kasai, Chairman and Representative Director, JR Central

Our next regular luncheon meeting will be held on Wednesday, 14 November when we have a distinguished speaker, Mr. Yoshiyuki Kasai, Chairman and Representative Director, Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central). Mr. Kasai is also the Honorary Consul of Finland in Nagoya

The theme of Mr. Kasai's presentation is: "Challenges Japan faces in the 21st century". The presentation will be in Japanese with simultaneous English translation.

Date & Time:Wednesday, 14 November , 12.00-14:00
Venue: Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Drawing Room 2F [MAP]
Cost:Members 6,000 yen, Guests 8,000 yen
Registration:by Friday, 9 November

About Yoshiyuki Kasai
Yoshiyuki Kasai is the Chairman and Representative Director of Central Japan Railway Company (JRC), which operates the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train system linking Japan's principal metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. JRC is also the developer of the maximum speed 581 km/h Superconducting Maglev (SCMAGLEV) System.

Mr. Kasai joined Japan National Railway (JNR) in 1963 and played a major role in JNR's reform. After the break-up and privatization of JNR, he was appointed President of JRC in 1995, and then Chairman in 2004. He succeeded in dramatically improving the Tokaido Shinkansen transport service by opening the new Shinagawa Station and achieving the speed-up of all Shinkansen trains to 270 km/h in 2003. JRC has now launched a project to develop the Chuo Shinkansen as the bypass of Tokaido Shinkansen, by the SCMAGLEV technology.

Among his public services, Mr. Kasai is the Chairman of the "Committee on National Space Policy", and also a member of the "Nuclear Damage Liability Fund" and the "Government Revitalization Unit".

Mr. Kasai published four books including "Japanese National Railways, its Break-up and Privatization (2003)". He earned his B.L. from the University of Tokyo in 1962 and his M.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1969.

If you would like to attend, please click link below by Friday, 9 November. We collect the luncheon fee at the hotel. Note that we have to invoice the lunch fee for cancellations after 13:00 on Monday, 12 November and "no-shows". If you require vegetarian food, please note this in your registrations.
Friday, 30 November - Stora Enso Cup
Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge - Autumn 2012

The 21st Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge (team competition between the Swedish and the Finnish Chambers), the Stora Enso Cup, is played on Friday, 30 November for a trophy donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K.

This time the venue is the same as in spring, Taiheiyo Club Narita Course, which is conveniently located just 6 km off the Tomisato I.C. (one before Narita) on the Higashi-Kanto Expressway.

For a flyer of the event, which also includes the access map and registration form (registration dead-line Friday 23rd), click link at right.
Friday, 7 December - The Social Highlight of the Year for the Nordic Chambers
Registration open for the Scandinavian Christmas Party

The social highlight of the year of the Nordic Chambers in Japan, the Scandinavian Christmas Party, is this year held on Friday, 7 December at our regular venue, The Westin Tokyo Hotel.

As this is the 20th anniversary, the party committee is working on an exciting program with great food and drinks. Don't miss out on this opportunity to join one of the best parties in town for a very reasonable cost, taking into account what it includes!

Registration Open!
The registration for the party has now been opened. Please sign up soon to secure your seats! Sign-ups are on a first-come, first serve basis, although sponsors are guaranteed seats (Gold and Silver sponsors can reserve full tables).

Sponsor Recruiting
Currently we are recruiting sponsors and advertisers for the party. To get maximum benefit and exposure for your contribution, sign up soon. Without the continuous support from a large number of companies and organizations, we could not have made this event as enjoyable as it has been throughout the years, for a reasonable cost of participation.

To sign-up as participant or sponsor, click link at right.

News from Finland

Most support for NCP, only gains for Finns Party

The National Coalition Party finished first in Sunday's municipal elections in terms of nationwide voter support. In terms of the number of votes won, only the Finns Party showed any gains.

Even with a slightly lower result than four years ago the National Coalition Party leader, Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said that he was satisfied that his party's values appealed to the largest number of voters.

"People wanted to show in these elections that the values which we represent are the kind of values that can be trusted when building the future. Encouragement, education, tolerance and caring are the values most voted for by the Finns today," Katainen told a party election evening gathering on Sunday.

SDP chair Jutta Urpilainen noted that during the summer and the early autumn, her Party and the NCP looked to be neck-and-neck in the race.

"The final spurt by the National Coalition was better. Ours was maybe not quite as good as we had hoped," a seemingly disappointed Urpilainen told Yle.

In contrast, Centre Party leader Juha Sipila seemed pleased with his party's results.

"This was a victory for cooperation. This was better than the best of the polls," said Sipila, adding that in his view the outcome of the election was a clear message of opposition to government plans for municipal reforms.

Grin of the Week

Advice on how to downsize

Two men were comparing notes on the difficulties of running a small business.
"I started a new business last year," the first one said. "I insist that each of my employees take at least a week off every three months."

"Why in the world would you do that?" the other asked.
He responded, "It's the best way I can learn which ones I can do without."
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 64 corporate members, 12 individual and one special member.