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  ISSUE 4/2006

6 February 2006  


The first month of 2006 is already behind us, but although it went quickly, it contained its fair share of shady business practices and scandals, from Livedoor to business hotel operator Toyoko Inn and the Defense Agency.

In this issue I push for a business luncheon organized by our Swedish sister chamber, which might be of interest also to our members. If you plan to attend, hurry up because registration dead-line is today!

Tue. 14 February - Business Luncheon organized by the Swedish Chamber

SCCJ invites you to a Business Luncheon with a distinguished guest speaker; Mr. Gregory Clark, Diplomat, economist, businessman, journalist and Japanologist. The title of Professor Clark's presentation is: "Japan and China - a regional opportunity".

Discussing the economical, political and cultural opportunities and threats in North Asia, including the future of the yen/renminbi, anti-Japanese protests, investments, North Asian cooperation to counter the American/European dominance, and more.


Date & Time:Tuesday 14 February, 12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, Silver Room, B2F
Cost:6,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Tue. 7 February

  Profile of Professor Clark
Born in Cambridge, UK in 1936, moved with his family to Australia when he was very young. At 16, he was accepted for Oxford University and graduated from that university with honors in 1956. Soon after he entered the Australian Department of External Affairs. After assignments at the Australian Commission in Hong Kong, China Desk Officer in Canberra and at the Australian Embassy in Moscow, he left the Department in 1965.

He came to Japan in 1969 as Head of the Tokyo Bureau of 'The Australian' through till 1974. Then, he became Consultant of the Policy Coordination Unit of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra. Later he was named Visiting Professor, and then Professor, of the Faculty of Comparative Studies and the Faculty of Economics of Sophia University.

In 1995 he was appointed President of Tama University. He concurrently holds numerous public positions such as Specialist Member of the Committee to Consider Transfer of the Capital City Functions from Tokyo and other governmental committees. He speaks Japanese, Russian and Chinese fluently and is active as a critic as well. Professor Clark has written many books, including "In Fear of China" and "The Misunderstood Japanese". He is a regular media contributor for NHK, International Herald Tribune, Nikkei Business, Nikkei Weekly, Mainichi Daily, Toyo Keizai, Tokyo, Business Today, and Japan Times. In 2001 he became Honorary Ambassador to Japan, Queensland State Government, Australia.

If you would like to attend, register directly with the SCCJ by clicking link at right.
Tue. 21 February - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting with Markus Kajo

At our next luncheon meeting we will have as our guest speaker Mr. Markus Kajo, writer, producer and announcer at YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company) TV2 .

Mr. Kajo is in Japan to produce a series of 10 programs for the Finnish TV on "the wonders of Japan", from the latest in technology to karaoke. Mr. Kajo will explain about the project but we will also have an opportunity to discuss and bring forwards ideas which we have about what should be included in the program series.


Date & Time:Tuesday 21 February, 12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto Room, B2F
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Fri. 17 February

  Profile of Markus Kajo
Markus Kajo was born in 1957 Isojoki in Ostrobotnia. He started his career at the Finnish News Agency STT as a local correspondent and moved to YLE in the early 1980's, first working in radio, then in YLE TV1 entertainment and since 1986 YLE TV2 entertainment as producer, writer and announcer.

He has also published several books, the latest publication is titled "Kettusen paluu: Ihmisen kasikirja" translates roughly as "The Manual of Man", or "Mr. K's Handbook of Homo Sapiens Sapiens Melancholicissimus",

If you would like to attend and have not yet registered, please click link at right.
Erik Ullner appointed EBC Treasurer

Board of Governors of European Business Council (EBC) approved Chairman Collasse's proposal to nominate Mr Erik Ullner, FCCJ's representative to the EBC's Executive Operating Board, as the Treasurer of EBC. The position is valid for three years starting from January 2006 (thus ending December 2008).

Erik's nomination as the EBC Treasurer is very much based on his hard work in EOB - especially in the Constitution and Funding Task Forces - and will certainly give further visibility to FCCJ within EBC. We would like to extend our congratulations to Erik for his new and obviously challenging new position!

News from Finland

Finnish transport union issues strike warning

Finland's Transport Workers' Union (AKT) threatened Friday to halt a considerable share of the country's bus, coach and lorry traffic beginning 19 February to protest against what it says is the employers' preference for part-time drivers.

In late 2004, the same dispute resulted in a fortnight-long strike, which affected the bus services of Connex and Concordia in the capital region. A sympathy strike spread to eight cities.

Friday's warning spans 21 road cargo companies, 54 bus and coach operators, about 100 cargo terminals and 12 coach cargo stations. Furthermore, the subcontractors of said companies would face a boycott.

About 11,000 workers, or roughly a third of the people employed in the sector, would go on strike.
Grin of the week

Secrets to make a marriage last...

Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, a little wine, good food and companionship. She goes Tuesdays. I go Fridays.

I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back.

I asked my wife, "Where do you want to go for our anniversary?"
"Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!"
So I suggested, "How about the kitchen?"

We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.

She has an electric blender, electric toaster, and electric bread maker. Then she said "There are too many gadgets, and no place to sit down!", so I bought her an electric chair.

Have a good week and

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 72 corporate members, 16 individual and one special member.