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  ISSUE 18/2013 9 August 2013  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Ahead of the Japanese holiday season, "o'bon" an update on coming activities in the chamber.

The next event is the Yakatabune cruise on Thursday, 29 August. Note that it is almost sold out already, so if you plan to attend and have not yet signed up, please do it in a hurry before we run out of seats.

The following event is a first for our chamber, a tour to the Nissan Oppama plant, located between Yokohama and Yokosuka. Oppama is one of Nissan's main production facilities with a max. production capacity of 480,000 cars/year (four times the total number of cars sold in Finland every year). Among other models, the Nissan LEAF electric car is produced at Oppama and we have been promised that at least some could test drive the car. Read more below.

Also note the luncheon meeting on Wednesday, 25 September with the new Finnair CEO, Pekka Vauramo. Put the date in your calendar, more information in my next bulletin.

Our retired (but now part-time senior advisor) papers salesman Timo Varhama has written a new contribution in his column Aoyama View, this time titled "Busting popularity and economy on mend, now more arrows, real progress? ".
Click banner at right for an educating and entertaining read!

Thursday, 29 August - FCCJ Yakatabune Event
Finnair AY4159 - Honka HJ4169 Code Share Cruise

Based on the success of last three yearfs cruises we have again decided to start off the FCCJ Autumn season in style and with some great fun, please join us for the Finnair AY4159 - Finn Tour FT4120 Code Share Yakatabune Cruise on Thursday, 29 August, now with a bigger (capacity 95) and fancier boat!

We have chartered our own Yakatabune boat. It starts at Asakusa touring down Sumida River to Odaiba and back in 2.5 hours. During the cruise you could enjoy a great Japanese tempura-sashimi dinner and drinks in the “all-you-can-eat & drink” style.

Date & Time:Thursday, 29 August , 18.30-21:00
Embarkation: Funayado Miuraya, 1-1-10, Asakusabashi, Taito-ku , Tokyo
Cost:8,000 yen for members, non-members 10,000 yen
Registration:by Monday, 26 August

Although we have reserved the biggest boat available we only have a few slots left so please sign up soon to secure your seats! For more information and registration form for the event, click links below.

Thursday, 12 September - FCCJ Special Event
Tour to Nissan Oppama Plant in Kanagawa pref.

On Thursday, 12 September we will organize a new and exciting event, a visit to the Nissan Oppama Plant near Yokosuka in Kanagawa prefecture. In addition to the factory tour we will also have an opportunity to test drive the Nissan LEAF electric car, which is produced at the plant. So remember to bring your driver's license!

Note that the tour is limited to 35 persons, and therefore we can accept members only before the registration dead-line. Please sign up soon to secure your slot!

Date & Time:Thursday, 12 September, 09:00-12:00
Venue: Nissan Oppama Plant, Kanagawa Pref. [MAP]
Cost:3,000 yen (members only)
Registration:by Thursday, 29 August

How to get there
The easiest and fastest way to get to the Nissan Oppama plant is by taking Keikyu main line from Shinagawa to Oppama station which is just 1.4 km from the plant. That is why we do not organize a bus transportation from Tokyo, but ask each participants to take the train and arrive at Oppama station at latest 09:00. We will meet after the toll gate at the station. From the station we take cars, taxis or bus (T.B.D.) to the plant.

We suggest you to take one of the following train options:
  • Keikyu Main Line - 07:53 from Shinagawa arriving 08:47 at Oppama (direct train)
  • Keikyu Main Line - 08:07 from Shinagawa arriving 08:54 at Oppama (direct train)
  • JR Tokaido Main line - 08:12 from Shinagawa, change at Yokohama to Keikyu Main Line
         (08:33) arriving 08:54 at Oppama

  • About Nissan Oppama Plant
    The Oppama Plant is one of Nissan's three major vehicle manufacturing plants in Japan. Beginning operations in 1961, this plant was Japan's first fullscale integrated vehicle assembly plant. In 1970, it was the first domestic plant to introduce welding robots; later the Oppama Plant became a pioneer of flexible manufacturing systems. These innovations have led to its position today as a leader in automated manufacturing.
    In October 2010, the plant started producing Nissan LEAF, the first mass-produced electric vehicle. In addition to the Leaf the plant also produces the Juke and Cube models.

    The plant, including the Research Center, GRANDRIVE Proving Ground and Oppama Wharf, covers about 1.7, employs about 2,700 people and has a maximum production capacity of 480,000 cars a year (more than 1,300 a day).

    For more about the plant, click here.

    To register for the event, click link at right.

    Wednesday, 11 September - EU-Japan Centre Seminar
    EU-Japan Workshop on the Power Sector Transition

    Europe and Japan are in the midst of an astounding transformational change of their energy sectors. Europe's transition has been driven by an early liberalisation of the energy sector and by the political commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050. Japan, meanwhile, is embarking on a fast and ambitious energy transformation triggered by the Fukushima events of March 2011.

    Date & Time:Wednesday, 11 September, 09:00 - 16:45
    Venue: Delegation of the European Union to Japan
    4-6-28 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo [MAP]
    Co-Organised by:EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, European Commission, EURELECTRIC
    Cost:Free, but registration required
    Language: English / Japanese (simultaneous interpretation)

    For more information incl. the full program and registration from, click links below.

    Friday, 4 October - The North-America - Europe Golf Challenge in Japan
    Mercedes-Benz Japan Cup 2013 - Registration Open!

    The 11th North America - Europe Golf Challenge in Japan, the Mercedes-Benz Japan Cup 2013, will be played on Friday, 4 October, at the same venue as in previous years, the Atsugi Kokusai Country Club in Kanagawa Prefecture.

    The organizing task-force and Mercedes Benz Japan are working hard to make the event a memorable one for all participants. Similar to last year JLPA pros will join us on the course and there will also be an "after-party", free for all players with spouses at, the Mercedes-Benz Connection in Nogizaka (close to Tokyo Midtown) on the week after the event.

    For more information and to sign-up as player and/or sponsor, please click link below.
    Message from Timo Varhama

    Thank you for your long time support.

    On 1 August started work as part time Senior Advisor to UPM Japan.
    My contact details are unchanged.
    Mail:, Mobile phone: 090-8804-9870.

    Also started my own consulting company. Will inform you contact details for that later.

    Counting on your continued support.

    Timo Varhama

    News from Finland

    Finance Ministry drafts 6.6 billion deficit budget
    The Finnish Finance Ministry has prepared a 2014 state draft budget that shows a 6.6 billion euro deficit. If approved, the proposal totalling 53.9 billion will see the state debt grow to 98 billion euros.

    Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen told the media that the draft is largely based on government budget talks held during the spring and that she does not expect to see any dramatic changes to be made to it.

    According to Urpilainen, key features are measures aimed at improvements in productivity and employment.

    It also includes cuts in corporate taxation and capital gains tax that the cabinet approved in the spring.

    Funding has been earmarked for transport infrastructure works, as well as subsidies for home housing repairs and energy efficiency upgrades. Another measure aimed at promoting economic growth and employment is an increase in the maximum deduction available to private individuals for home renovations and homecare services from the present 400 euros to 2,400 euros.

    Commenting on the state of the economy, Finance Minister Urpilainen said that she sees three challenges facing the country: the general economic dowswing, exceptional structural transformations affecting industry and public sector deficits.

    Grin of the Week

    What was the problem?

    Taxiing down the tarmac, the jetliner abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate. After an hour-long wait, it finally took off.
    A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, "What was the problem?"
    "The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine," explained the Flight Attendant, "and it took us a while to find a new pilot."
    Have a nice o'bon and
    Best regards

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

    This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 650 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.