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  ISSUE 14/2015 4 June 2015  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

We had a very interesting luncheon meeting on Monday, 1 June with Mr. Roleff Kråkström, Managing Director, Moomin Characters Ltd. as our guest speaker. As we all know, the Moomins are going strong in Japan and comprises a major part of Moomin Characters's licensing business. Read more below!

On Thursday, 11 June, we have the 3rd CLIC Networking Event. This time the speaker is Steen Kokkenborg (Representative Director and Vice President) of Lego Japan, and the third event, on Tuesday, 23 June, is organized by the Belgian Luxembourg Chamber: "Delighting Customers in Japan XIV".
More about these also below!

This week we also have a fresh edition in the Aoyama View column, this time titled: "Security and Finances: Pensions, Companies, Banks, Olympics, FIFA ".

Click banner at right for timely insights and views!

Thursday, 11 June - 3rd Joint Chambers Networking Event organized by CLIC:
LEGO - Conquering Japan, Brick by Brick
The LEGO Group is a privately held, family-owned company with headquarters in Billund, Denmark, and main offices in Enfield, USA, London, UK, Shanghai, China, and Singapore. Founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, and based on the iconic LEGO brick, it is one of the world's leading manufacturers of play materials.

At the 3rd CLIC Event Mr. Steen Kokkenborg, the Representative Director and Vice President of Lego Japan, will share with us the LEGO Journey in the Japanese market.

Date & Time:Thursday, 11 June, 19:00 - 21:00
Venue: Embassy of Sweden, Exhibition Hall
1-10-3-100 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo [MAP]
Cost:Members 4,000 yen, non-members 5,000 yen (incl. buffet and free drinks - beer, wine, soft drinks)
Registration:by Monday, 8 June

About Steen Kokkenborg

Steen Lauge Kokkenborg was born in 1962 and graduated with a Master of Science degree in International Trade from Odense University in 1985. He joined the LEGO Group after his graduation as Research Executive and has served in numerous positions in sales, marketing, product management and as an executive at LEGO in Denmark, Korea and now Japan. Before he took up his position in Tokyo in March 2013 he served for almost three years as Country Manager for LEGO Korea.

For more about the event and to register, click links at right.

Report from Luncheon with Roleff Kråkström, Moomin Characters Ltd.
On Monday, 1 June we had Mr. Roleff Kråkström, Managing Director of Moomin Characters Ltd., as guest speaker at our luncheon meeting.

The theme of Mr. Kråkström's presentation was "The Moomin Story in Japan: A lot of hard work, but also some good luck".

Moomin Characters Ltd is the official body responsible for Moomin copyright supervision. Its operations are based on selling licenses and on finding partners that are number one in their field.

Moomin has become a world-wide brand with more than 450 licensees world-wide. An astonishing 45% of the licensing business comes from Japan.

The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session and at the end, Robert Hirst, Chairman of FinTech Global Inc., the main investor in Moomin Monogatari, the company behind the theme park project, explained about the plans for the Moomin theme park in Japan. More details about the park, its location and the timetable for its construction are expected to be announced in the coming months.

For more about the event, attended by 36 members and guests, click links at right.

Tuesday, 23 June: BLCCJ Seminar
Delighting Customers in Japan XIV

Japan is known as one of the most challenging markets in the world. Whether your business is start-up, long-established, or somewhere in between, you are probably confronted daily with the issue "how to delight customers?"

Because there is not a single answer to this very fascinating question, the Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BLCCJ) launched in 2001 "Delighting Customers in Japan", an annual seminar where a number of top executives share their ideas and experiences about the challenges of succeeding in this perplexing market.

Following the great success of the event formula, the BLCCJ is very pleased to organize the 14th edition in 2015, where we will welcome again 3 distinguished speakers who will share with us their strategies, experiences and insights regarding their businesses in Japan:
  • Mr. Per RASMUSSEN, Managing Director, GROUPE SEB JAPAN

  • Details:
      Date & Time:Tuesday, 23 June, 18.30-21:00
     Venue: BNP Paribas offices, GranTokyo North Tower, Marunouchi [MAP]
      Cost:Members 5,800 yen, Guests 6,800 yen
      Registration:by Thursday, 18 June

    The seminar will be followed by an open panel discussion with Q&A, and by a networking cocktail from 20:00 onwards. We hope you can join us.
    For more information and registration, click link at right!

    News from Finland

    Transport Ministry looks at electric car tax reduction

    A new initiative by a working group at the Ministry of Transport aims to increase the number of electric cars in Finland exponentially. By lowering or eliminating the tax on electric car, the group hopes to entice consumers to choose electric cars, rather than petroleum-powered ones.

    The popularity of electric cars has grown relatively quickly here. Finland has become known as a good testing ground for the use of electric cars because of the widespread use of the ubiquitous electric car warming units in parking lots across the country - which could in theory become charging points.

    But currently, there are only an estimated one thousand electric powered cars on Finnish roads and some 150 actual charging stations.

    A tax reform proposed by the new government aims to encourage more people to buy electric cars, arguing that this will help Finland meet EU emissions targets.

    However the price difference between petrol, diesel and electric cars remains significant. Today, a petrol-powered Volkswagen Golf costs around 25,000 euros. A Golf running on diesel costs about a thousand euros more, but the electric version of the car costs 41,000 euros.

    But, even if the sales tax on electric vehicles would be cut to zero, it would only mean a savings of about 2,000 euros from the cost of the car.

    Grin of the Week

    Need to be honest?

    A Dutchman in Amsterdam felt that he needed to confess, so he went to his Priest.
    "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. During WWll, I hid a Jewish man in my attic."

    "Well," answered the Priest, "That's no a sin."
    "But I made him pay me 20 gulden for each week he stayed."

    "I admit that wasn't good, but you did it for a good cause."
    "Oh thank you Father; that eases my mind. Father, I have one more question."

    "What is it son."
    "Do I have to tell him the war is over?"
    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.