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If you are not interested in technicalities, you could skip this introduction text...

Making these bulletins is a pretty tricky business because they are opened in so many different email readers and on different operation systems, which all behave differently, so they are tens of options on how to format.

Recently I found out that e.g. Gmail is not well suited for receiving HTML mails (not only my opinion but shared with experts on the internet). Even though I am a big Google fan, their search, maps, Google Earth and other, mostly free, offerings are great, but their email still needs some fine-tuning. So if you read this on your Gmail account, my apologies if the bulletins in the past have looked a bit mangled. I have tried now to adjust also for Gmail, so this should look a bit better there. Another reader that is not well suited for HTML mail is Lotus Notes, but have not been able to test that. Added a link above the top image if this bulletin looks weird so that you could check in your browser how it was intended to look...

  Report from Luncheon Meeting with Ambassador Jorma Julin

At the FCCJ luncheon meeting held on Wednesday 25 February at Hotel Okura, H.E. Mr. Jorma Julin, Ambassador of Finland to Japan talked about the Asian Economic Integration, a subject he has thoroughly studied.

According to Ambassador Julin, during the last few years free trade and economic partnership agreements (FTAs, EPAs) have rapidly made headway in Asia. A great number of agreements are under negotiation. As the result of this development Japan and its competitors are gaining better market access and investment environment. For third countries this can mean new opportunities in Asia but also tougher competition.

So far there are not many signs that the current economic crisis is affecting the development towards FTAs and EPAs, but might to some extent slow down because of more urgent domestic agendas fighting the recession. Politicians seek quick fixes which are not good in a longer term.

For a report from the event, attended by 33 members and guests, click HERE.

Tuesday, 17 March
FCCJ Club Evening at Moomin Bakery & Cafe

It is again time for a Club Evening at the Moomin Bakery & Café in Tokyo Dome City La Qua, Korakuen. It will be held on Tuesday, 17 March.

Come and meet old and new friends in a relaxing atmosphere accompanied by Finnish style food and drinks! We encourage you also to invite other members of your staff and/or your spouse!

See details below.

Date & Time:Tuesday, 17 March, 19:00-21:00
Place: Moomin Bakery & Cafe
Tokyo Dome City, LaQua 1F, 1-1-1, Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo [MAP]
Cost:Members: 4,000 yen, non-Members: 4,500 yen (collected at the door)
including one drink and light buffet
Registration:by Friday, 13 March

More about Moomin Bakery & Café:

Please note that we will collect the fee at the door and provide you with a receipt. Late cancellations and no-shows will be invoiced.

If you have not yet registered and would like to attend, please click link at right!
To check who has already registered, click HERE!!

Friday, 10 April - Stora Enso Cup
Sweden - Finland Golf Challenge 2009

The 15th Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge (team competition between the Swedish and the Finnish Chambers), the Stora Enso Cup, is played on Friday, 10 April for a trophy donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K.

Members of the SCCJ members will also play for their Spring Golf Cup and FCCJ members for their Golf Cup.

Date & Time:Friday, 10 April 2009 (start from no. 1 and 10, first tee-off at 9:46)
Venue: Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West
1044-1 Inno, Gotemba-shi, Shizuoka 412-0008
Cost:18,700 yen (incl. green fee, caddie, lunch and party after play)
to be settled directly to the club
Registration:by Friday, 27 March, by enclosed form or mailing  mailing me 
Note 1: Remember to give your HCP
Note 2: If you want to go to the course the previous evening, the course has a nice lodge. See flyer for details.
In case you need accommodation, you need to register by 9 March.

For a flyer of the event, which also includes the access map and registration form, click link below.

Thu. 12 March: Danish Chamber Event with Graham Davis:
Japan & the region- financial outlook for 2009 and beyond
The DCCJ has its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 12 March and after the meeting there is a presentation by Mr. Graham Davis, Managing Director, Japan at the Economist Group.

The DCCJ invites members of other Nordic Chambers to join Mr. Davis presentation where he will be talking about "Japan & the region- financial outlook for 2009 and beyond".


Date & Time:Thursday, 12 March at 19:30
Venue: Hotel Okura, Kensington Terrace (South Wing 12F) MAP
Cost:5,000 yen
Registration:Monday, 9 March

More more information and registration (directly to the DCCJ), click link below.

News from Finland

Finnish PM sticks to guns over retirement age

Matti Vanhanen (centre), the Finnish prime minister, indicated on Tuesday that the government would stand firm on its decision to raise the retirement age by two years to 65 in the face of a fierce union and opposition backlash.

Mr Vanhanen told reporters at the Parliament that all members of the government backed the increase and added that the issue affected the public at large and not just the unions.

The prime minister said he would discuss the matter with union bosses later this week.

On Monday, the unions walked out of a committee tasked by the government to propose changes in social security.

Grin of the week

Signalman's test

Tom is applying for a job as a signalman for the local railroad, and is told to meet the inspector at the signal box.

The inspector decides to give Tom a pop quiz, asking, "What would you do if you realized that two trains were heading towards each other on the same track?"
Tom says, "I would switch one train to another track."

"What if the lever broke?" asks the inspector.
"I'd run down to the tracks and use the manual lever," answers Tom.

"What if that had been struck by lightning?" challenges the inspector.
"Then," Tom continues, "I'd run back up here and use the phone to call the next signal box."

"What if that had been vandalized?"
"Oh, well," says Tom, "in that case I'd run into town and get my Uncle Leo."

This puzzles the inspector, so he asks, "Why would you do that?"
"Because he's never seen a train crash!"
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 68 corporate members, 15 individual and one special member.