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  ISSUE 9/2008 9 April, 2008  

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

On Friday we play the 12th Stora Enso Cup, the golf match between the Finnish and Swedish chambers. With six wins for the Swedes and five for the Finns so far, we could square it up with a victory this time... But it is of course a friendly competition, so perhaps more important than a win, is that it would not rain on Friday. At the bottom of this bulletin (Grin of the week) there is an "environmental warning" for those who play, please read carefully and take note...;-).

On Monday we start the 13th FCIJ Business Confidence Survey. With all the turbulence in the markets, it will be interesting to see how the foreign companies in Japan see the situation and evaluate their business performance. I will send out a notice about the survey on Monday to our foreign affiliated members. If you are a member of some other chamber, you should receive a similar message from your chamber.

Report from the FCCJ Annual General Assembly

The FCCJ held its ninth annual general assembly on Thursday 3 April at the Embassy of Finland. Attended by 45 members, the assembly went smoothly with no big surprises. Reports from fiscal year 2007 were approved and activity plan, budget and annual membership fees for 2008 confirmed. One new member was elected to the board of directors, Mr. Masaoki Fujita of Coil Center Fujita.

After the assembly Ambassador Jorma Julin gave a brief update on current affairs in the relations between Finland and Japan, followed by a dinner with the chamber's Board of Trustees. To enable members to meet as many of the trustees as possible during the dinner, they switched seats twice in a well orchestrated manner.
Wednesday, 16 April - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting
Ms. Suvi Lindén, Minister of Communications of Finland

At our next luncheon meeting, held on Wednesday 16 April, we will have a prominent guest speaker, Ms. Suvi Lindén, Minister of Communications of Finland. Minister Lindén is accompanied to Tokyo by a business delegation and will, in addition to having high-level meetings, attend a Japan - Finland Business Seminar and Networking Luncheon on 15 April.
The theme of Minister Lindén's presentation is: "The Finnish Information Society Policy - Objectives and Challenges from the Public Policy View".

Date & Time:Wednesday, 16 April, 12.00-13:45
Venue: Hotel Okura, South Wing 12F, Kensington Terrace
Cost:7,000 yen for members, non-members 8,000 yen
(collected at the door)
Registration:by Monday, 14 April
Profile of Minister Lindén
Minister of Communications, 19 April 2007 to present
Master of Arts, Member of Parliament
National Coalition Party
Date and place of birth: 19 April 1962, Helsinki
Place of residence: Oulu
Minister of Culture, 15 April 1999 to 5 June 2002
Women's Federation of the National Coalition Party, Vice Chair 1998-1999
National Coalition Party, Member of the party's Board of Directors 1992-1995
National Coalition Party in North Ostrobothnia, Chair 1992-1995
Member of Parliament 1995 to present

If you like to attend and have not yet registered, please click link below.
(if you are unsure whether you have registered, click here)
News from Finland

Nordic ministers rule out Beijing Olympiad boycott

The prime ministers of Finland, Norway and Sweden, starting a globalisation meeting at a Swedish ski resort, said Tuesday that they did not intend to boycott this year's Olympic games over China's human rights situation.

"I have received an invitation from the Finnish Olympic Committee and we are preparing spending a week there," said Matti Vanhanen (centre), the Finnish prime minister.

Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden and Jens Stoltenberg said they intended to travel to Beijing for the Olympiad as well.

Mr Vanhanen added that the issue of human rights would always be raised in talks with Chinese leaders.

Grins of the week

Beware of the bear

The Montana State Department of Fish and Wildlife advises golfers to take extra precautions and be on the alert for grizzly bears while playing on National Forests Golf Courses.

They advise golfers to wear noise-producing devices such as little bells on their clothing to alert, but not to startle the bears unexpectedly. They also advise you to carry pepper spray in the case of an encounter with a grizzly bear.

It is also a good idea to watch for signs of bear activity.

Golfers should be able to "recognize the difference" between black bear and grizzly bear droppings on the golf course. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain berries and possibly squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings have bells, golf-gloves and sunglasses in them, and smell like pepper spray.

I guess there are no bears in Chiba, right? (BTW, thanks for the joke E.T.)

Best regards

Clas G. Bystedt
If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
send it to: fccj@gol.com

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.