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  ISSUE 13/2005

2 June, 2005  


Even though we believe that the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan is fairly well on track and has established itself as an important tool in promoting the business relations between Japan and Finland, there is always room for improvement and fine tuning of the operations.

One of the objectives this year is to find ways to more efficiently utilize the expertise and networks of our Board of Trustees, which according to our articles of associations should "jointly take responsibility for the long-term development and stability of the Chamber".

To discuss means and methods, the Board of Directors of FCCJ met with the Board of Trustees over a luncheon (picture right) at the Embassy of Finland hosted by Ambassador Eero Salovaara. Ambassador Salovaara is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Other issues this week:

Report from the Finnish National Day at Expo 2005 Aichi

The Finnish National day at Expo 2005 Aichi was held on Thursday 12 May attended by the Prime Minister of Finland, Mr. Matti Vanhanen.

The opening ceremony was held at the Expo Dome where PM Vanhanen gave a speech and the large audience could enjoy music performances by Trio Töykeat, Anna-Mari Kähärä & Pekka Kuusisto and the a cappella group Rajaton. The Moomins also paid a highly appreciated visit to the opening ceremony. Other events where held at various locations at the Expo site throughout the day.
For more about the National Day and many images,
Report from the Tour to Sapporo Brewery in Chiba

The tour to the Sapporo Brewery in Chiba was held on Wednesday 18 May. The 14 participants got a thorough introduction in the art of making good beer - the ingredients used and the process.

We also got an insight in the present beer market in Japan, which is undergoing some major changes as the consumption patterns have changed and the beer producers are battling to come up with new products to maintain or even increase their market share.

One of the highlights of the tour was naturally the tasting of the Sapporo product line-up. Although Sapporo, and other brewers, are counting on that the new category beer brands with lighter taste and lower alcohol content, at least the Finnish participants seem to have preferred the more traditional premium brands, like Yebisu...
For more about the tour and many images,
23 June - Monthly Luncheon Meeting with Minister Tuula Haatainen

At our luncheon meeting in June we will have Ms. Tuula Hatainen, Minister of Education as our guest speaker. Minister Haatainen will speak about education in Finland and Finland's role in the education sector in EU. Finland has declared that themes of the Finnish EU presidency (in 2006) will be quality and equality in education.

Date & Time:Thursday, 23 June, 12:00-14:00
Venue: to be confirmed
Cost: 7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Tuesday 21 June

Profile of Minister Haatainen
  • Minister of Education, 17 April 2003 onwards
  • Member of Parliament (Social Democratic Party ), 1996 onwards
  • Nurse, Master of Social Sciences
  • Date and place of birth: 11 February 1960, Tuusniemi

  • To register, please click link at right.

    Joint Nordic Luncheon meeting organized by the DCCJ
    16 June - Nobuyuki Idei, Chairman & Group CEO, SONY: "The Globalization of SONY"

    The Danish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (DCCJ) invites members of FCCJ and other Nordic Chambers to a Business Luncheon, on June 16 where the guest speaker is Mr. Nobuyuki Idei, Chairman & Group CEO, SONY Corporation.

    The topic of his presentation is: "The Globalization of SONY".

    The presentation will be followed by a Q & A session. So please prepare some questions.
    Date & Time:Thursday, 16 June, 12:00-14:00
    (registration starts at 11:30)
    Venue: The City Club of Tokyo MAP
    Place Canada B1F, 7-3-38 Akasaka, Minato-ku Tokyo
    Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
    Registration:by Friday 10 June

    Profile of Mr. Idei
    Nobuyuki Idei was born in Tokyo in 1937. After graduating from Waseda University in 1960, he entered Sony Corporation. He was assigned to the company's International Division. In 1968 he was transferred to France in 1968 to establish Sony France S.A.

    In 1972, Mr. Idei returned to Japan and was appointed Manager of the Europe Section, International Division. In June 1989, he was appointed Sony Corporation Director, and Managing Director in 1994 and in April 1995 President and Representative Director.

    Mr. Idei became Chief Executive Officer in June 1999 and Chairman in June 2000. In April 2003, he became Group Chief Executive Officer.He currently serves as the Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer.

    Since becoming President of Sony in 1995, Mr. Idei has transformed Sony from an analog AV company to a digital AV/IT network company. He is now working to confirm Sony's position as a leading global consumer brand based on its unique and diverse assets in Electronics, Game and Entertainment.

    Mr. Idei became a Vice Chairman of Nippon Keidanren and Chairman of the Committee on Administrative Reform, Nippon Keidanren in May 2003.

    To register, please click link at right.
    BLCCJ Congress
    17 June - Delighting Customers in Japan IV

    The Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan is pleased to announce the fourth edition of "Delighting Customers in Japan" which will be held on Friday June 17, 2005, in Hotel New Otani. We are privileged to have presentations from Nestle Japan Group and UCB Japan Co., Ltd.: a unique opportunity to gain new insights on how to further accelerate your company's growth in Japan.

    HRH Prince Philippe, Crown Prince of Belgium will attend the event.
    Date & Time:Friday, 17 June, 15:00-17:00
    Venue: Hotel New Otani, Orizuru Mai Room
    Cost:6,000 yen (pay in advance)
    Registration:by Friday 10 June

    For more details of the event and application form, click link below.
    Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Information Service for Foreign-Affiliated Firms
    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) supports the businesses of foreign-affiliated firms in Tokyo via a new web site which was opened last month. The web site provides information on business and daily life.

    The TMG would like to hear the opinions on the web site from foreign companies to be able to improve the site. They also will promptly respond to any inquiries you may have regarding business or daily life in Tokyo.

    To find out more about the site and to give your comments, click link below.
    News from Finland

    Finnish family childcare benefits too good - OECD

    The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recommends for Finland to curb either the level or the duration of benefits paid for children being cared for at home, as according to OECD logic this way more women would be in working life to compensate for dropping birth rates. If mothers stay away from working life for too long, their career options are permanently hurt, the organization argues.

    Mark Pearson of OECD, speaking Friday at a OECD press conference in Helsinki, said that benefits for families caring for their toddlers at home instead of dropping them at childcare centers lasted far too long in Finland. The benefits encourage people to care for their children themselves: in Finland, 44 per cent of two-year-olds were in daycare outside of the home while in Sweden, the figure stands at 85 per cent.

    Family childcare benefits lead to mothers having difficulty returning to working life, the OECD says. Also, their work must be mostly temping. According to an OECD report, half the mothers of small children are in working life. 44 per cent of young women employees are temping.
    Grin of the week

    A man and woman are driving...

    A man and a woman are driving down the same road at the same time. As they pass each other the woman leans out the window, points and yells, "PIG! "

    The man immediately leans out his window, shakes his fist and shouts back, "WITCH!"

    They each continue on their way, and as the man rounds the next corner, he slams into a pig that had wandered into the middle of the road.

    If only men would listen....

    That's all for now, have a nice rest of the week!

    Best regards

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

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    This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 580 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 72 corporate members, 16 individual and one special member.