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  ISSUE 12/2005

9 May, 2005  


The preliminary results of the Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey Spring 2005 are now available. We received 416 valid responses (up 28 % from the previous survey in October 2004) from companies representing 14 foreign chambers and business organizations in Japan.

Even though the views on economy were, as expected, not as optimistic as in the 2004 surveys (April and October), this survey shows that the respondents' views on their own business performance and forecasts on sales and profitability for the coming six months remain optimistic and a further improvement from the results from the October survey. The strategies for Japan remain bullish, 82 % of the respondents seek further growth in Japan, 17 % plan to maintain current level and only 1 % considers downsizing.
To find out more and to download the full report, click HERE.

Other issues this week:

Report from the Club Evening at Juniper at Grand Hyatt Tokyo

The third FCCJ Club Evening was held at the Juniper Bar and Cafe at Grand Hyatt Tokyo at Roppongi Hills on Wednesday 27 April.

The 50 participants enjoyed delicous food and suitable amount of drinks in good company with a relaxed athmosphere.

We also heard some interesting comments from Rotary Exchange Stundent Maria Linna about her impressions of Japan and the differences in Finnish and Japanese school systems.
For more about the club evening, click link below
12 May - Finland's National Day at Aichi Expo

The Finnish National Day will be held on 12 May, attended by Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen. The program will start at 11:00 in the Expo Dome.

The performers include Trio Töykeat, Anna-Mari Kähärä & Pekka Kuusisto, a cappella group Rajaton and the Sibelius High School Chorus. For more about the artists, check here!

Free Expo Tickets
The FCCJ has free entrance tickets to the Expo on that day. If you are planning to go, please apply for tickets by clicking link below. Note that this offer is valid only to FCCJ members (and staff of member companies). Depending on demand we can give you 1-4 tickets. So indicate how many tickers you need and make your application A.S.A.P. We will send out the ticket(s) tomorrow.
Note also that the tickets are valid only on the 12 of May.

18 May - Tour to Sapporo Brevery in Chiba

Sapporo is applying a range of exciting new ideas and innovations at their Chiba Brewery. Completed in 1988, the brewery features some of the world's most advanced technologies. At this tour we will have a look at their production secrets, hear about the beer markets and strategies, and, of course, taste their products!

Date & Time:Wednesday, 18 May, 16:00-19:00
Venue: Sapporo Brewery in Chiba
Address: Takasemachi, Funabashi-shi, Chiba
Cost: free (participants pay transportation)
Registration:by Monday 16 May

The tour is expected to end around 18:00, after which you can enjoy dinner (at own cost) at the Chiba Beer Garden next to the Brewery.

Transportation   MAP
Please take the JR Keiyo Line from Tokyo station an get off at Shin-Narashino station (about 35 mins. from Tokyo). If you use Hibiya line, you could also change to JR Keiyo Line at Hachobori. We recommend you to take the train leaving Tokyo station at 14:53 (Hachobori 14:55) which arrives at 15:30, or from Tokyo station at 15:10 (Hachobori 15:12) which arrives at 15:45. When you get off the train, go to the Sapporo Brewery Shuttle Bus stop, see map. If you miss the bus, take a taxi, it is only ca. 5 mins. from the station.

To register, please click link at right.

Coface Japan Country Risk Conference
16 May - Developments in Asia:
Opportunities and Risks for Japanese Business

For the past nine years, Coface has hosted an annual Country Risk Conference in Paris gathering over 1,000 international experts from the corporate, banking and research sectors. On the occasion of its 10th year anniversary in Japan, Coface is pleased to also hold its country risk conference in Tokyo.

During the half-day event, international experts will present an overview of current risks and opportunities in Asia, analysing economic trends in light of recent events and the resulting impact for Japanese exporters. The conference is designed to give international leaders of commerce the key tools they need to make vital decisions in terms of export markets and investment. The conference will be held in Japanese and English The Conference registration form is attached and is available along with program details on the Coface website.

Date & Time:Monday, 16 May, 14:00-18:00
Venue: Capitol Tokyu Hotel
B2F, Pink Pearl Room
Cost:5,000 yen
Registration:by Tuesday 10 May

FOr more information and registration form, please click link below. Please register your attendance directly with Coface and not with the FCCJ.
EBC meeting with Asian Demographics Expert
1 June - Challenge and Opportunity of Middle Age and Beyond in Japan and China

You are invited to attend a one-hour meeting with Dr. Clint Laurent, CEO of Asian Demographics Ltd., who will speak on the impact of the changing age profiles of China and Japan and related opportunities. The meeting is being organized by the EBC Secretariat and is free of charge. It will be held on June 01 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the 6th floor meeting room of the EC Delegation (Europa House). There will a Q&A opportunity.

Date & Time:Wednesday, 1 June, 17:30-18:30
Venue: EC Delegation (Europa House), 6F  MAP

For futher information and registration form, click link below.
British Chamber of Commerce in Japan Events

The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) has a couple of events scheduled that appeal to a broad number of my readers.

June 8th:
The Financial Tines correspondent will talk about Livedoor. Full details and the booking mechanism are on the BCCJ website at:

June 28th:
Glen Fukushima, the new head of Airbus will talk about their strategy in Japan. Full details and the booking mechanism are on the BCCJ website at:

Please register your attendance directly with the BCCJ as instructed on the BCCJ website.

News from Finland

Finnish PM to meet Japanese Crown Prince and Junichiro Koizumi

Matti Vanhanen (centre), the Finnish prime minister, is to meet Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Crown Prince Naruhito in a four-day visit to Japan next week, said a Finnish government statement on Friday.

It added that the prime ministerial talks on 13 May would concern bilateral relations, the Asia Europe Meeting (Asem), UN reforms and other international issues.

Mr Vanhanen is expected to confirm the message that President Tarja Halonen took to Japan in the autumn: Finland supports Japan's project to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Grin of the week (a.k.a. history lesson)

The History of Cinco de Mayo

Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York. This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico.

But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost. The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5 and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.

Read here about the actual Cinco de Mayo...

That's all for now, have a nice 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 580 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.