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  ISSUE 21/2007 5 November, 2007  

Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

The report of the 12th edition of the Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey has now been compiled. Please read more below!

We have also now started to accept registrations for the Scandinavian Christmas Party is held on Friday 7 December at The Westin Tokyo in Ebisu. Please sign up early as we expect to be fully booked!

In this bulletin I also have an update on a matter concerning all foreign residents in Japan - the revised immigration law, scheduled for November 20, which says that all foreigners have to leave their fingerprints and have their photo taken when entering Japan.

Please read more about that, and much more, below!

The Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey - Fall 2007:
No Major Problems in Sight - Cautiously Optimistic

The FCIJ conducted the first Business Confidence survey in April 2002, based on a format developed by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ). This is the twelfth survey, conducted twice a year, and becoming a barometer of foreign business in Japan. The survey period was between October 15 and 26, 2007.

The survey was sent to members at 14 organizations representing about 2,150 foreign affiliated companies and generated 438 valid responses, an 18% increase from the Fall 2006 survey.

The survey reflected a fairly optimistic mood in the Japanese economy, although the growth figures and estimates for both the economy and the companies' performances were more moderate than in the previous survey in April 2007.

Regarding their own performance, the companies reported and forecasted for the next six months further gains in sales and profitability on almost similar level than in the previous survey.

Concerning the strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan, most of them remain bullish ad see Japan as a market with room to expand - 76% looking for further growth and 21% expecting to sustain their current level. Only 3% reported that they plan to downsize and 0% (two companies out of the surveyed 438) are considering withdrawing from the market.

For more about the survey and for the full report, click link at right.
Tuesday 20 November - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting
Mr. Andrew Silberman: 12 Non-Cash Ways to Motivate Your People

"Show me the money!" The famous line from Jerry Maguire still rings true today. If you want to hire and keep the best people, you definitely need a competitive compensation package. But what else can you do to generate more business, liven up your sales teams, and create that sparkle in their eyes that magically wins over more (and better) customers?

Andrew brings 15 years of Japan-based sales successes and "learning experiences" and has distilled them down to 12 of his favorite ideas that you can use to increase your company's top line this winter.

Bring your ideas, questions and an appetite to learn.

Date & Time:Tuesday 20 November, 12.00-14.00
Venue: Hotel Okura, South Wing 12F, Kensington Terrace   MAP
Cost:7,000 yen for members, non-members 8,000 yen
(collected at the door)
Registration:by Friday 16 November
Profile of Mr. Silberman
Mr. Silberman has been building global business skills for his clients since 1989. He has been working in multi-cultural environments for his entire professional life. Prior to coming to Tokyo, he lived and worked in Honolulu, HI, Salinas, CA, Madrid, Spain and Mexico City. He began his management training career in 1989 at San Diego State University, where he created seminars and managed programs for business professionals from around the world.

About the AMT Group
AMT Group was founded in 1992 with the ongoing mission of "Developing Global Thinkers!" Our Tokyo office is located in the geographic center of Tokyo: Yotsuya, Chiyoda-ku. While most of our training takes place off-site or on our clients’ premises, we do offer a private development room that can accommodate up to 12 participants. Feel free to stop by! Our leadership & management training focuses on internal and external communication. By internal communication, we mean the dynamics that create healthy organizations-teamwork, visioning, goal-setting and achieving; and our external communication training is focused on your salespeople and those who face customers directly.

If you would like attend and have not yet registered, please click link at right.
Report from the FCCJ Luncheon Meeting on Thursday 25 October
Haruyuki Niimi, Chairman of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.

At our October luncheon meeting, held on Thursday the 25th, we had a prominent guest speaker, Mr. Haruyuki Niimi, Chairman of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K..

Mr. Niimi talked broadly around the theme, How foreign-affiliated companies should act in the Japanese market, explaining about the history of Shell in Japan, which dates back to the year 1900, the creation of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. and how he thinks the success of the company, which he has served for 47 years, is largely attributed to a Hybrid Management, combination of global standards and Japan's strengths and beauty.

Mr. Niimi also acknowledged two successful Finns with whom Shell is connected. F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen whose team Ferrari is sponsored by Shell and Jorma Ollila, Chairman of Nokia who is also Chairperson of Royal Dutch Shell.

For more about the meeting, attended by 26 members and guests, click link below.
Fri. 7 December - Scandinavian Christmas Party
Registration has started for the Party!

We have now opened registration for the 15th Scandinavian Christmas Party held on Friday, 7 December at The Westin Tokyo in Ebisu..

We are confident that this year's party will be as good as, or better than, the previous one and as we expect to be "sold out", please sign up early (by clicking link below).

We are also still recruiting sponsors for the event. Without the continuous support from a large number of companies and organizations, we could not have made this event as enjoyable as it has been throughout the years.

If you sign-up as a sponsor now, you will get most benefit of your contribution.
Revised Immigration Law - Update from the EBC

This is to inform you about the implementation of the revised immigration law, scheduled for November 20. In short, the revised law says that all foreigners have to leave their fingerprints and have their photo taken when entering Japan. The EBC has over the past year strongly insisted that the implementation of the law should not complicate or delay the re-entry procedure of foreign residents in Japan. We have especially objected to forcing re-entry permit holders to line up in long queues with all other foreigners (tourists e.g.) to take fingerprints each time re-entering Japan.

After long discussions with the Ministry of Justice, it is now clear that re-entry permit holders will be able to pre-register fingerprints and photo at either Shinagawa or at Narita on the way out. Undergoing this procedure once should grant swift re-entry at Narita (not other international airports) as long as the passport/re-entry permit is valid. Information about this system is not yet available in English but can be found in Japanese on the MOJ website: http://www.moj.go.jp/NYUKAN/nyukan63-2.pdf

The Ministry of Justice has also said that for those re-entry permit holders who have not yet pre-registered their fingerprints and photos, there should be a line separate from other foreigners (e.g. tourists) at the immigration counter. However, the MOJ not yet made this commitment in writing - because they may not be able to staff the extra lines at all times of the day.

EBC Chairman Richard Collasse sent a letter on October 26 (please click link below) jointly signed with the Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce to demand that information about the new system is made available in English ASAP and that the commitment to set up separate lines at immigration counter for re-entry permit holder are not pre-registered is made also in writing. At this time, the semi automatic gate system will not be available at Kansai and Nagoya International airports. The solution for Kanto residents appear to be to go to Narita airport early and pre-register (you only have to do this once).

We will continue to ask for more clarity on the new procedures from MOJ and will be sure to get back to all of you as soon as we have more information on this urgent issue.
News from Finland

Ihamuotila to take Marimekko's helm in February

The share price of Marimekko shot up on the Helsinki bourse on Wednesday after the Finnish fashion group posted robust third-quarter earnings and announced that Mika Ihamuotila of Sampo Bank fame would take over as chief executive February next year.

Marimekko said in a statement that Kirsti Paakkanen, the outgoing chief executive, would sell her 20-per cent stake in the company to Mr Ihamuotila.

"I am really happy that in Mika Marimekko gets a committed owner and leader. Mika possesses a rare combination of strong corporate leadership and creativity. I simply cannot think of a better captain for the company and I trust he has got what it takes to develop Marimekko further," Ms Paakkanen said of her successor.

"It is my aim to start building Marimekko into a cult brand within clothing, interior decoration and lifestyle as well as a company that has an international retail distribution network, a passionate staff and a market value multifold from today," Mr Ihamuotila said in the statement.

Grins of the week

A fair settlement

"Mr. Clark, I have reviewed this case very carefully," the divorce court judge said, "and I've decided to give your wife $775 a week."

"That's very fair, your honor," the husband said. "And every now and then I'll try to send her a few bucks myself."

Have a good week & 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 600 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, 16 individual and one special member.