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  ISSUE 24/2013 1 November 2013   
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

The 24th edition of the Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey has been completed and the results are now available. Some interesting findings with still rather positive views on the Japanese economy and strong performance and forecasts by the companies regarding their sales and profitability. Please read more below!

This is the last reminder of our luncheon meeting next Thursday with Mr. Matti Anttonen, Under-Secretary of State of the Department for External Economic Relations, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. If you would like to attend and have not yet signed up, do so at latest on Tuesday! More information below!

The 24th Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey
"Sunny and Colorful in the Abenomics World - At Least for Now... "

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 24th, survey was conducted between 16 and 25 October, 2013, and received 278 valid responses from members of 16 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 the respondents remain bullish about the Japanese economy, although at a slightly lower level than in the previous survey in April 2013. The economy for the next 6 months is expected to continue to grow significantly - the index, on a scale from +2 (strong improvement) to -2 (strong decline)) was now +0.89, compared to +1.00 in April. Looking 12 months ahead, the companies see still a growth, although lower than forecasted in the previous survey. The index was now +0.75, compared to +1.06 in the previous survey.

The positive views on the economy were also reflected in the reported and projected performance of the companies, partly at least due to the weakening of the yen. The reported sales performance in the past six months developed stronger than in the April survey, the index was now +0.71 compared to +0.43 the previous survey. The sales performance was now at its highest level since the Spring 2007 survey. Similarly, the profitability growth also improved, now +0.45 now compared to +0.36 in April.

The optimism reflected in the company performance data also clearly show that the strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan continue to be bullish. 79% (71% in the April survey) are looking for further growth and 15% are expecting to sustain their current level. 3% are planning to downsize, but none of the respondents are considering withdrawing from Japan (see graph at right).

The uncertainties after the 3/11 disaster are obviously behind, and at least for now, the businesses seems to benefit from the Abenomics.

For the full report, click link at right!

Thursday, 7 November - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting
Mr. Matti Anttonen, Under-Secretary of State of the Department for External Economic Relations, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Our next luncheon meeting will be held on Thursday, 7 November when we have Mr. Matti Anttonen, Under-Secretary of State of the Department for External Economic Relations at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, as our guest speaker. The theme of Mr. Anttonen's presentation is "Finland as a Gateway to Russia".

Date & Time:Thursday, 7 November, 12.30-14:30 NOTE TIME!
Venue: Hotel Okura, Kensington Terrace, South Wing 12F [MAP]
Cost:Members 6,000 yen, Guests 8,000 yen
Registration:by Tuesday, 5 November

About Matti Anttonen
Matti Anttonen is the Under-Secretary of State of the Department of External Economic Relations of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs since July 2013. Prior to his current position Matti Anttonen acted as Director General of the External Economic Relations from 2012 to 2013.

Most of Mr. Anttonenfs career has been connected with Russia. Before to the present position he served as Finlandfs Ambassador to Moscow, where he was also posted earlier during his career. From 1996 to 2001 he was the Director for Russia and from 2001 to 2002 the Deputy Director General of the Eastern Division at the Ministry in Helsinki.

Mr. Anttonen served as the Energy Co-ordinator at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki from 2007 to 2008. From 2002 to 2006 he worked as Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Finnish Embassy in Washington DC.

Mr. Anttonen joined the Ministry in 1986 and he holds Master degrees both in economics and modern history.

If you would like to attend, please click link below. We collect the luncheon fee at the hotel. Note that we have to invoice the lunch fee for cancellations after 13:00 on Wednesday, 6 November and "no-shows".
To see who has already signed up, click here.

Friday, 22 April - Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge
Stora Enso Cup - Autumn 2013

The 23rd Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge - the team competition between the SCCJ and FCCJ members - the Stora Enso Cup, is played on Friday, 22 November for a trophy donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K..

The venue is Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West, in Shizuoka prefecture, which has been the venue for the event four times in the past. First tee-off is at 9:24 and the cost is 17,500 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.
New EBC Financial Reporting Committee

The European Business Council (EBC) has started a new Financial Reporting Committee which met for the first time on 25 September. Mr. Dirk Hermans of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC has agreed to chair the committee. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 6 November from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. in the EBC office. Anyone wishing to join the meeting with a view to joining is very welcome to attend. We would appreciate it if you could bring this meeting and committee to the attention of your CFO and financial department staff. Please contact the EBC at to register for attendance at the meeting.

At the 25 September meeting, the following objectives were agreed for the work of the new committee:
  1. Promote the convergence of Japanese accounting standards with international standards through limiting or reducing reconciling items between IFRS group reporting and JGAAP statutory reporting.
  2. In correspondence with the standard setters and other relevant bodies, seek clarification on grey areas or the implications of new standards from JGAAP or IFRS perspective.
  3. Provide input to the JIFRS standard setting process.
  4. Consider special concerns for SMEs regarding the above.
Friday, 15 November - Tokyo Sinfonia Dinner Concert
Scandinavian Serenade

The dinner-concert "Scandinavian Serenade" at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan is a combination of good food, good music, good conversation, and a relaxed evening in company with a lot of really nice people that has always made these events especially attractive, enjoyable, and refreshing.

Warm your heart with our Scandinavian dinner menu. The three-course dinner features Norwegian Smoked Salmon allfOrtolana, Danish Meat-balls Frikadeller, Finnish Brod, and Swedish Apple Tart; all that plus coffee, tea, and a cash bar.

Soothe your soul with our selection of the music by composers representing each of the four nations of Scandinavia: Denmark (Carl Nielsen), Finland (Jean Sibelius), Norway (Edvard Grieg), and Sweden (Dag Wirén). Gather a group together and enjoy the food, the conversation, the music, and the magic of the evening.

For more details, click link at right.
Friday, 13 December - The Social Highlight of the Year for the Nordic Chambers

The social highlight of the year of the Nordic Chambers in Japan, the Scandinavian Christmas Ball, is this year held on Friday, 13 December at our regular venue, The Westin Tokyo Hotel.

This is the 21st event and 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

Analyst: NSN profits surprising, phone sales unimportant for Nokia

Nokiafs third quarter results included a small operating profit and a slight spike in Lumia smartphone sales—but according to one analyst the companyfs main focus is already shifting before the firm sells its mobile phone division to Microsoft.

The companyfs results have been a huge news event in Finland, but that may begin to change once the devices and services division is owned by the US software giant Microsoft. Nokiafs strategy is shifting to location services and infrastructure, and according to analysts that change is already paying dividends.

hIt means that NSN profitability is getting better, that was the main surprise of the results,h said Hannu Rauhala, an analyst at Pohjola Markets. hSo the Q3 NSN result was quite good, but the guidance for Q4 was that better profitability was waiting. So the profitability was good.h

Nokia once controlled more than half the global market in mobile phones. Those days are long gone, and the companyfs sales figures are now more significant for Microsoft shareholders than those holding Nokia stock.

Grin of the Week


Judge: Is there any reason you could not serve as a juror in this case?

Juror: I don't want to be away from my job that long.

Judge: Can't they do without you at work?

Juror: Yes, but I don't want them to know it.
Have a great long 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 64 corporate members, 12 individual and one special member.