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  ISSUE 8/2003

3 April, 2003  


A new fiscal year started, without too many surprises or shocks, so far. How the foreign companies are doing in Japan we will find out in a few weeks time - next Wednesday the 3rd Foreign Chambers Group Business Confidence survey will be launched. Members from about 15 chambers are expected to participate.
We will send information on how to take part in this survey to our foreign affiliated members next week.

Report from the Annual General Assembly
Attentive listeners; second from right new board member Kaj Forsell.

The 5th Annual General Assembly of FCCJ was held on Monday 31 March at the Embassy of Finland.

The Assembly procedures, attended by 32 members, went smoothly, approving the activity report and financial statement for fiscal year 2002 and plans and budget for fiscal year 2003.

One new member was elected to the board, Mr. Kaj Forsell, President of Tekla K.K., all outgoing members were re-elected. Timo Varhama continues as President of the Chamber and Mika Mäkinen was elected new Vice President in addition to the present, Hirokuni Yoshida.

After the assembly, 46 members and guest participated in the reception hosted by Ambassador Eero Salovaara, Nippon Finnpap and Stora Enso Japan.

For more about the event, click link at right
Stora Enso Cup:
Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge - last reminder
The 3rd Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge (team competition between the Finnish and the Swedish Chambers) is played on Friday 18 April for a trophy donated by StoraEnso Japan K.K.
At this moment we have 16 players registered from FCCJ, but would like to have a few more.

Date & Time:Friday 18 April, first tee-off 9:30
Place: Taiheiyo Club Gotemba-West, Shizuoka Pref.
Play format: Stroke play with handicap
Cost:17,150 yen incl. play fee, caddie & party
Bus fee 5,000 yen
Registration:by Wednesday 9 April

The SCCJ plans to arrange a chartered bus from Shibuya if more than 20 players would like to use it, cost will be 5,000 incl. snacks and drinks.

If you would like to participate, please register now by clicking link at right. Please also mark your present handicap when you register, and if you would like to use the bus.
April Luncheon Meeting

At the April Luncheon meeting our guest speaker will be Mr. Ruji Kita, President, Sunarrow Limited. The theme of his presentation is "Sunarrow Business in Finland".

Here are the details:

Ryuji Kita
Date & Time:Friday, 25 April, 12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, B2F Take Room [MAP]
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Wednesday 23 April
Ryuji Kita was born in 1940 in Fukuoka. He graduated from Kyushu University of Faculty of Engineering in 1963, and earned his Master Degree by majoring high polymer synthesis in 1965. After Graduating, Mr. Kita started his business career at Nippon Zeon Co.Ltd., where he had engaged in research and development activities for 23 years. From 1989 he served as director of the Department of Electronic materials and high performance plastics materials. In 1999 he joined Sunarrow Co.Ltd. where he was managing director 1999-2002.
On 25 October, he was appointed to serve as the President of Sunarrow Co. Ltd.

If you would like to attend, please click link to the right.
FCCJ News No. 25
We are now preparing the April issue of our printed newsletter, FCCJ NEWS. This will include a report from the Annual General Assembly, trade statistics, company news, meeting reports, and much more.

If you have news from your company (e.g. changes in contact information, new staff, etc.) that you would like to convey to our readers, please drop us a line. Photos are also welcome!
News from Finland

Number of bankrupcies grew for the first time since 1992

The number of bankrupcies in Finland grew last year fro the first time since 1992, when Finland was at the bottom of the slump.

According to Statistics Finland the number grew by 3 % to 2,885. Bankrupcies grew most in construction with 527 cases, 72 more than a year earlier. In the service sector, including software companies there were 596 cases, 46 more than in 2001.

Due to the bankrupcies, 11,000 jobs were lost, which was 1,100 more than a year before.
Grin of the Week

Microsoft vs. GM

At a recent computer expo, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 miles to the gallon."

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
  1. For no reason whatsoever your car would crash twice a day.
  2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy a new car.
  3. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought "CarXP"." But then you would have to buy more seats.
  4. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would only run on five per cent of the roads.
  5. The oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single "general car default" warning light.
  6. The airbag system would say "Are you sure?" before going off.
  7. Occasionally for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grab hold of the radio antenna.
  8. You'd press the "start" button to shut off the engine.

One more reminder, a joint chambers luncheon meeting is held with Berhard Zepter, Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Japan on Tuesday, 8 April, 12:00-14:00 at the Capitol Tokyu Hotel. Please check my previous bulletin for details.
As I will be out of office tomorrow (Friday), note that if you would like to participate, please mail Valerie Gerard directly at the French Chamber, which is organizing this event.

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 450 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.