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  ISSUE 12/2016 9 May 2016; 

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

Hope all of my readers in Japan has an enjoyable and relaxing Golden Week!

The next event is a high-level dinner on Thursday 19th with Mr. Olli Rehn, Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland and his Business Delegation. We have only a few slots left so sign up soon if you plan to participate and have not signed up yet! Details below.

The following event on Tuesday, 7 June is also a dinner event - with one of the most, if not the most, prominent Finnish Business leaders, Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of Nokia Corporation and Founder & Chairman of F-Secure Corporation. Some details are still being ironed out so I will have more information in my next bulletin, but mark the date in your calendar already now.

Soon after that, 10-11 of June we will have our Karuizawa Tour. Read more below!

In this bulletin I also have a report from the 29th Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey. Read more below on how foreign companies view the Japanese economy and their performance in the market.

Our columnist in "Aoyama View" has taken time during the Golden Week to write a new contribution, this time titled: "With More Headaches Home, Abe Takes Golden Week Europe Tour".

Click banner at right to get a insight on current affairs, in and around Japan.

Thursday, 19 May - FCCJ Special Dinner Event

On the occasion of the visit to Japan by Mr. Olli Rehn, Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland, FCCJ will organize, in cooperation with Finpro and the Embassy of Finland, a dinner on Thursday, 19 May. Minister Rehn is accompanied by a Business Delegation which will also participate in the dinner.

Before the dinner FCCJ members will give their views on operating in Japan. The Embassy and Finpro have also invited representatives from Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives). The Minister and Keizai Doyukai will give presentations on the theme of the evening; Digitalization.

After the presentations we will enjoy the dinner and towards the end of it we will have a Q&A session,

Note that due to space restrictions, this is a member only event.

Date & Time: Thursday, 19 May, 19:00-21:30 (Note new time)
Place: The Tokyo Club, 1-9-14, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo [MAP]
Cost:9,000 yen
Registration:by Friday, 13 May

About Minister Olli Rehn
Olli Rehn is the Minister of Economic Affairs in Juha Sipilä's cabinet since 29 May 2015. Previously, he served as European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro of the European Commission from 2009 to 2014 and the European Commissioner for Enlargement from 2004 to 2010.

Member of Parliament, 1991-1995, 2015 to present and Member of European Parliament, 1995-1996, 2014-2015. Rehn is a member of the Centre Party of Finland.

Born in Mikkeli in 1962, Rehn studied economics, international relations, and journalism at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in the United States. He gained a master's degree in political science from the University of Helsinki in 1989, and a D.Phil. from St. Antony's College, Oxford in 1996 on the subject of "Corporatism and Industrial Competitiveness in Small European States"

Please note that we will invoice the fee in advance upon your registration.

If you would like to attend, please click link at right.
Wednesday, 27 April - The 29th Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey
'Choppy Waters for Economy - Businesses Steam Ahead' '

The Foreign Chambers in Japan (FCIJ) has been conducting Business Confidence surveys online twice a year since 2002 among foreign-affiliated companies in Japan. This, the 29th, survey was conducted between April 12 and 22, 2016, and received 303 valid responses, an increase of 26% from the previous survey, from members of 17 foreign chambers of commerce and business organizations.

The views on the Japanese economy are mixed and the expected growth is lower than in the previous survey in October 2015. Although this survey shows that the sentiments regarding the Japanese economy are less positive than in the Spring 2015 survey, both the reported and forecasted performance figures for the companies were more positive than in the previous survey.

The relative optimism reflected in the company performance data also clearly show that the strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan continue to be bullish. 78% (75% in the October survey) are looking for further growth and 19% (21% in October) are expecting to sustain their current level. Only 3% is planning to downsize and only one of the respondents are considering withdrawing from Japan.

The survey, which is run by FCCJ on behalf of the foreign chambers in Japan, had this time two alternating questions, one regarding Daycare issues, the other about salary increases this year.
For the full report, click link at right!
Thursday, 28 April - Joint Nordic Business Luncheon
Report from the luncheon with Rickard Gustafsson, CEO, SAS Group

In connection with celebration of 65 years of service between Japan and Scandinavia, Mr. Rickard Gustafson, President & CEO SAS Group, was in Tokyo and gave on Thursday, 28 April the members of the Nordic Chambers a unique opportunity to hear first-hand from him about the strategies and stages of implementation for SAS evolution into a New Normal.

In his presentation Mr. Gustafsson gave an insight in the development of the SAS business in Japan since they started in 1951 as the first European airline to fly to Japan. Then it took 63 hours and cost the equivalent of about 10,000 USD.

He also explained about the turnaround of SAS since 2012 when it was on the verge of bankruptcy to show a healthy profit last year. SA is also expanding in Asia, for Japan the priority is to get a slot at Narita in 2019 when new slots become available there.

For a report from the event, attended by 52 members from the five Nordic Chambers and representatives for the press,
Friday, 10 - Saturday 11 June

An Opportunity to Experience Another Side of Japan

"Resort Living, Networking and Golf or Sightseeing & Shopping"

FCCJ will organize a tour to Karuizawa on Friday, 10 - Saturday 11 June. Departure from Tokyo, either by car or Shinkansen will be in the morning of Friday, 10 June. There are three options for transportation; a) by your own car, b) co-ride in someone else's car (we coordinate) or b) if you prefer or there is not room in the cars, go by Shinkansen.

The program on Friday will include a lunch with the Mayor of Karuizawa, visits to Honka and Guest House (Rantasalmi) model houses and prominent projects of theirs. In the evening we will have a BBQ dinner by campsite fire at Sweet Grass. to which we plan to invite some locals. Overnight accommodation is mainly in the cottages at Sweet Grass, but for those who want to be a bit adventurous, camping is an option.

On Saturday we have two options - either golf (Karuizawa 72 Minami Course) or a sight-seeing tour, with or without shopping at the Prince Shopping Plaza. We will return to Tokyo on Saturday, 11 June in the evening by cars or Shinkansen.

For more information and to register, click link at right.
"WOMEN RISING - Inspiration, Knowledge and Connection"

For Empowering Women (FEW) in Japan will hold its biennial Career Strategies Seminar (CSS) on 28 May from 9:30 to 19:00 at Shibaura House.

With the theme "WOMEN RISING," this fullday seminar will offer "Inspiration, Knowledge and Connection" to more than 70 women of all professional backgrounds living in Japan through interactive workshops and training and networking sessions led by experienced, successful female industry leaders, small business owners and insightful coaches and mentors.

The goal is to help all attendees acquire the necessary tools and confidence to RISE UP and better navigate their their way towards an even more purposeful career.

For more information and to register, click link at right.
News from Finland

Record cruise summer afoot

A total of 243 overseas cruise liners will be docking in Helsinki this summer, bringing some 460,000 tourists to the capital, Visit Helsinki announces.

The first three biggest ships will dock in Helsinki on Monday, bringing 9,000 travelers from six different countries. The largest of these, the Regal Princess, will arrive at the Hernesaari terminal with 3,600 passengers.

The situation is uncommon, as fewer cruise liners visit Helsinki than before but the number of visitors has risen annually. Visit Helsinki explains that this is due to developments in ship building. New cruise liners are far larger than previous models and have a higher capacity of passengers.

The highest volume of tourists hails from Germany, at 117,000 visitors last year. The next biggest countries of origin are the United States, the UK, Spain, Italy and Canada.

International cruise liners will arrive in Helsinki almost daily until September. The final ship of the 2016 cruise season is AIDAmar, which is set to visit Helsinki in mid-October.
Best regards

Clas G. Bystedt
If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
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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.