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  ISSUE 3/2003

5 February, 2003  


Japan has qualified for the Icehockey World Championships by beating China 15-0 in a qualifying game yesterday in Hachinohe.

What has this to do with Finland?
Well, for one, the Championships are held in Finland next spring, but more importantly, the Japanese team has a Finnish coach, Timo Tuomi. So at least in some fields a Japanese-Finnish cooperation seems to work well, the question is just, who should "coach" who?

Report from January Luncheon Meeting
Mr. Asahara takes a picture with the new NOKIA 6650

The first luncheon meeting of 2003 gave us a good insight in the present state of mobile communications, especially regarding the 3rd Generation (3G), what is the market for it, and why will it "fly".

Mr. Yoshiki Asahara, Product Marketing Manager at Nokia Japan, noted that Nokia has been on the Japanese market since 1989, at first for technology sourcing and developing partnerships with Japanese high-tech companies, but is nowadays involved also in marketing, sales, customer services, product creation (R&D) and research. Nokia is by far the largest Finnish company in Japan, employing close to 500 people.

Mr. Asahara also presented Nokia's new global dual-mode 3G/GSM phone which has recentely been introduced on the Japanese market.

For photos and more about the meeting which was attended by 35 members and guests, click link to the right.
Toshikatsu Fukuma
February Luncheon Meeting

The February Luncheon meeting will be held as a joint Scandinavian Chambers' meeting, organized by the SCCJ.
Note that the venue is different from our regular one.

The guest speaker will be Mr. Toshikatsu Fukuma, Member of the Policy Board, Bank of Japan. The theme of his presentation is "Japanese Monetary Policy".

Date & Time:Monday, 24 February, 2003, 12:00-14:00
Place: International House, Roppongi [MAP]
Cost:6,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Wednesday 19 February

Before being elected to the Policy Board of Bank of Japan in April 2002, Mr. Fukuma served Mitsui & Co. for over 40 years. From June 1998 to June 2001 he was Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer and after that Counselor until his appointment to the Bank of Japan.

If you would like to attend, please click link to the right.
Stora Enso Cup:
Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge
The 3rd Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge is played on Friday 18 April for a trophy donated by StoraEnso Japan K.K.
Again this time we have a very nice venue, the Taiheiyo Club's Gotemba-West Course in Shizuoka prefecture.

We will come back with more details as soon as we have agreed on rules, etc., but please mark this date in your calendar already now, if you are a golfer. FCCJ is the holder of the cup, so we hope to have many participants to be able to defend it successfully.

If you would like to register now, please click link at right.
News from Finland
OECD: Finland's Economy will gain speed in 2004

The Finnish economy will recover from the donwturn that started two years ago faster than most EU countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forcasted on Tuesday. The economy will start growing already this year.
The GDP growth will double this year from last, to 3.2 % according to OECD, and will grow a further 3.8 % in 2004.
The downturn came earlier and was steeper in Finland than in most EU countries. But on the other and the upturn started earlier. But as the growth is much dependent on a strong increase in export demand, the uncertainty in the international economy could be a dark cloud.
Grin of the Week

Having a Bad Day?

If you feel you have wasted some money, it could be worse, read on...

The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska was close to 8 mill. yen. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were being released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers. A minute later, in full view, a killer whale ate them both.

This story (which is part of a much longer version) was courtesy of Roger in London, thanks!

Finally a story that could qualify for "Grin of the Week" or even "News from Finland", and illustrates the level of the Finnish evening press. Iltalehti had a front page story yesterday about how much alchohol the parliament uses entertaining their guests. Among other things it claimed:

The Parliament re-supplied their stock of spirits at the beginning of last year. They bought 16 bottles of Koskenkorva Vodka and Gordon's Dry Gin and 12 bottles of Finlandia Vodka. But this stock lasted all year.

What's that to make a big fuss about? I don't drink much vodka but I can freely admit that 16 bottles of Gin would not last for me alone for one year...

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 400 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 71 corporate members.