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  ISSUE 11/2017 5 April 2017 
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Finally seems that we have got some proper spring weather in Tokyo and the hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) parties are in full swing!

We held our 18th Annual General Assembly on Monday, 3 April at The Tokyo Club. The most notable decision was that Masaoki Fujita, President of Coil Center Fujita Co., Ltd., was elected new President, the first Japanese to hold the position. Read more about the Assembly below.

Our next event is the Stora-Enso Cup played on Friday, 21 April. We have already 20 players signed up for the FCCJ team but there is space for more. Read more below!

Our columnist in "Aoyama View" has found some time between the hanami parties to make new contribution, titled "Spring, Sakura and New Year Start in Japan - Commotion, Tensions Rise Around the World ".

Click banner at right for an interesting read on what is going on in the world, seen from a Japanese angle plus latest in big business moves here in Japan.

Report from the FCCJ Annual General Assembly on 3 April
Masaoki Fujita new President of the FCCJ

The 18th FCCJ Annual General Assembly was held on Monday, 3 April 2017 at the Tokyo Club attended by 36 chamber members.

As Pekka Laitinen, the FCCJ President for the past two years will take up a position at Finpro/Finland Trade Center, he had to resign from his post and Masaoki Fujita, President of Coil Center Fujita Co., Ltd., was elected new President, the first Japanese to hold the position.

The Board also elected three new Vice Presidents, Tuomo Kuuppo, Hiroaki Nagahara and Veli Solehmainen.

The assembly approved the activity and fiscal reports for the fiscal year 2016 ending 31 March 2017 and approved activity plans and budget and membership fees for the fiscal year that started 1 April.

After the assembly the members enjoyed a dinner when a lot of active discussions took place between the members.

For more about the general assembly and many images, click links at right!
Friday, 21 April - Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge
Stora Enso Cup - Spring 2017

The 30th Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge - the team competition between the SCCJ and FCCJ members - the Stora Enso Cup, is played on Friday, 21 April for a trophy donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K..

The venue is Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West, in Shizuoka prefecture, which has been the venue for the event six times in the past. First tee-off is at 9:40 and the cost is 18,040 yen, all included (play fee, caddie, lunch and party after play).

For a flyer of the event, which also includes the access map and registration form, click link below.
Friday, 19 May - Concert and Reception at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra

As part of the Centenary of Finland's Independence celebrations in Japan, the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Santtu-Matias Rouvali, will tour Japan in May. The concert program includes representative works by the national composer Jean Sibelius. Also a collection of Moomin artworks by Tove Jansson from the Tampere Moomin Museum will be displayed in the concert venues.

The Embassy of Finland and FCCJ will jointly organize a reception hosted by H.E. Ambassador Jukka Siukosaari after the first concert on Friday, 19 May at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Ueno. The concert starts at 19:00 and the reception will follow immediately after, at around 21:00 in the foyer of Tokyo Bunka Kaikan.

Thanks to the bulk discount on tickets we have got from the organizers and support from the Embassy for the reception, we are able to offer you a reasonable package price for the Concert (SS seats, the most premium) and Reception; 13,500 yen per person (regular price for SS seat is 12,000 yen).

We hope you would take this unique opportunity to invite guest (clients, partners, etc.) and staff to this event. Note that due to space restrictions at the reception, we limit the number of persons to 100, on first come - first served basis. So please make your reservation early! Note that you can make a tentatve reservation now to secure your seats and confirm the number later.

For more about the concert and to reseve tickets already now, please click links below!
Wednesday, 19 April - Dutch Chamber Event
Japan Tax Update by PwC - 2017 Japan Tax Reform and other developments

The Dutch chamber invites members from other chambers to the NCCJ Tax Seminar titled:

Japan Tax Update by PwC - 2017 Japan Tax Reform and other developments

to be held on Wednesday 19 April from 17:00.

On December 8, 2016, the Japan ruling party coalition published the 2017 Tax Reform Proposal, with the stated purpose to support the healthy expansion of Japanese companies into growing global markets while limiting tax avoidance (among some other policy goals). The proposed legislative package includes corporate tax measures that aim to support investments and to reward companies for raising employee salaries, alongside amendments consistent with the recent OECD recommendations to counteract gBase Erosion and Profit Shiftingh by multinational enterprises. In addition, the announced amendments in the area of inheritance and gift taxes may have profound impact for both Japanese nationals and foreign nationals residing in Japan, even after they leave Japan.

For more on the seminar and to sign up directly to the Dutch Chmaber, click link below.
Thu 13 and Fri 14 April - Finnish Blues Night
Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip "Live in Japan!"

Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip, play two gigs in Blue Mood Club in Hamarikyu 13-14 April. Their American blues has wide following in Finland and Scandinavia. Awarded in Finland as Best Blues Band in 2015 and for Best Blues Song in 2016, this band is a good exponent and world top level of the genre, tightly welded with 20 years together and now gigging around the world and recording with top producers in New Orleans, London etc.

Venue: Blue Mood (1F in Hamarikyu Park Side Place 5-6-10 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)
Advance tickets: 5000 yen, on the day 6,000 yen
Tickets are on sale at Eplus for both days. You can also make reservations from the Blue Mood site.

For a flyer of the concerts (in Japanses), click link at right.
News from Finland

New 'Business Finland' superagency to offer one-stop service for export firms

The Finnish government is combining Finpro and Tekes to produce a new body aimed at jump-starting sluggish exports.

Two major state-funded agencies are to merge in an effort to better promote Finnish companies abroad. Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, will join Finpro, the former Finnish Foreign Trade Association. It already includes Export Finland, Visit Finland and Invest in Finland.

The new mega-agency so far has a working title of Business Finland.

"Their shared service path will carry on from the development of products, services and business models all the way through bringing innovations to market without breaking the chain anywhere along the line," Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä said on Tuesday.

This means dismantling redundancy between the two organisation's duties and freeing up operations abroad, he said.

Ambassadors to become 'country managers'
One concrete change will be a stronger role for the Foreign Ministry in boosting the internationalisation of Finnish firms. Heads of missions, including ambassadors, will be more active as country managers in this regard.

"The purpose of the change is to improve the services provided for customers - growth-oriented companies aiming at internationalisation. The customer will in future be served by one organisation instead of two," said Lintilä.

Lintilä and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen unveiled plans for the streamlining of innovation funding and export promotion on Tuesday, a day after the reorganisation was approved by the cabinet. It aims to double exports by small and medium-sized enterprises by 2020.

The new model is inspired by similar mergers in Estonia, Norway and Iceland.

Business Finland is to start operations at the beginning of 2018 with a staff of about 600.
Grin of the Week

Who Discovered North America?

Teacher: Little Donald, go to the map and find North America.
Little Donald: Here it is!
Teacher: Correct. Now, class, who discovered America?
Class: Little Donald!
Best regards

Clas G. Bystedt
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This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 700 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.