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  ISSUE 4/2009 13 February, 2009  

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

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, it is not until tomorrow Saturday, but as most of you are off then and wouldn't read my bulletin, I take and advance...
And, don't get too excited when you get chocolates from Japanese girls! They might be "Giri-choko" (obligation chocolate). Women give chocolates not only to their loved ones ("a true love" chocolate is called "Honmei-choko"). Giri-choko is given by women to their superiors at work as well as to other male co-workers. It is not unusual for a woman to buy 20 to 30 boxes of this type of chocolate for distribution around the office as well as to men that she has regular contact with.
As the Valentine's Day now is on a Saturday, I guess that confectioners and department stores here are not so pleased. As most offices and work places are closed, I guess there is much less "giri-choko" this year. And to add insult to injury, the "White Day", a Japanese creation where men are supposed to return gifts to women one month later, is also on a Saturday (14 March).

But now to more serious matters, at least until the last item...;-)

Wednesday, 25 February - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting
H.E. Mr. Jorma Julin, Ambassador of Finland to Japan

Our next luncheon meeting will be held on Wednesday, 25 February, where we will have H.E. Mr. Jorma Julin, Ambassador of Finland to Japan as our speaker. Ambassador Julin will talk about the economic integration in Asia and how the current economic downturn might affect it.

During the last few years free trade and economic partnership agreements (FTAs, EPAs) have rapidly made headway in Asia. A great number of agreements are under negotiation. As the result of this development Japan and its competitors are gaining better market access and investment environment. For third countries this can mean new opportunities in Asia but also tougher competition.

Here are the details:

Date & Time:Wednesday, 25 February, 12.00-14:00
Venue: Hotel Okura, Kensington Terrace (South Wing 12F) MAP
Cost:7,000 yen for members, non-members 8,000 yen
(collected at the door)
Registration:by Monday, 23 February

Profile of Ambassador Julin
Mr Julin entered the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1971 and has held posts in the Finnish missions in Bonn and Teheran and the Permanent Delegation of Finland to the OECD in Paris. He has been the Finnish Ambassador to Seoul and from 2000 until 2005, Head of the Permanent Delegation to the OECD in Paris. At the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, he has served, among others, as Director and, from 1996 to 2000, as Director General of the Department for External Economic Relations.

He took up his position in Tokyo 1 September 2005.

If you would like to attend and have not yet registered, please click link at right.
To check who has already registered, click HERE!
Upcoming Events

Our event schedule for the coming months is pretty much fixed. So to enable you to mark in your calendar dates of events that are of interest to you, I will list them below

  • Tue. 17 March - Club Evening at Moomin Bakery & Café

  • Spouses, colleagues and friends are welcome!

  • Tue. 7 April - FCCJ Annual General Assembly

  • At the Embassy of Finland, starting at 17:00 followed by dinner, members only.

  • Fri. 10 April - Stora Enso Cup

  • Sweden - Finland Golf Challenge and FCCJ Golf Cup
    At Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West, a venue used for the Cup in April 2003.
    CLICK HERE for an event flyer!

  • Fri. 17 April - Joint Nordic Luncheon Meeting

  • With the new EBC Chairman Tommy Kullberg, organized by the SCCJ at Happo-En.

  • Thu. 28 May - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting

  • With Hitotaka Sakurada, General Manager, F-Secure KK at Hotel Okura.

    The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation Seminar:
    Economic & Environmental Challenges for Automotive Industry in the EU and Japan

    The automotive industry is a key sector in Europe and in Japan: The EU is the largest automotive production region (34%) in the world and the industry accounts for 7.5 % of the manufacturing sector. Japan positions itself as the second automotive producer in the world and the industry is currently the biggest employer in the country (4.91 million direct and indirect employments).

    The automotive industry is now facing a multitude of severe challenges: fight against climate change, oil prices volatility and the financial and economic crisis that is leading to loss of demands and jobs. Considered as a vital sector for growth and competitiveness both in the EU and Japan, the automotive industry figures prominently on the political agenda of the European Commission and of the Japanese government.


    Date & Time:Wednesday, 25 February, 18:30 - 19:45
    Venue: Hotel Grand Arc Hanzomon, (1-1 Hayabusa-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
    Participation:Free (Registration required)
    Language:English / Japanese (with simultaneous interpretation)

    In this seminar, Mr. Philippe Jean, Head of Automotive Unit of Directorate-General for Enterprise & Industry of the European Commission, will present the European automotive policy and strategy for promoting job security in the sector and for providing green and affordable cars to consumers.

    The seminar is joined by Mr. Akira Matsunaga, Director of Automotive Division of the Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry, to discuss how Japan sees the impact of economic crisis on its automotive industry as well as strategy for keeping competitiveness while promoting next generation cars to meet today's energy and environment challenges.

    For more information and registration, click link at right.

    Fri. 27 and Sat. 28 February - Hotel Okura presents:
    Live Index Vol. 3 - Supported by Blue Note Tokyo

    Hank Jones The Great Jazz Trio (Hank Jones / David Wong / Billy Kilson)
    A Sublime Time made charming by a legendary pianist.

    Already in his 90's, living legend pianist Hank Jones still manages to captivate audiences around the world with his elegant and flowing style. It is often said that "there are no standards he cannot play", thereby affectionately earning him the name of Mr. Standard.
    This time, he will be playing with the newest members of The Great Jazz Trio which he formed all the way back in 1976.

    In joint collaboration with Japanese promising young talents;
    Guest Vocalist on 27 February (Friday) TOKU, and on 28 February (Saturday) GRACE MAHYA

    Dates:  27 February (Friday) and 28 February (Saturday)
     doors open 18:00, performance start 19:00
    Place:   Hotel Okura, Main Building 1F, Akebono Room
    Price:   18,000 yen per person
    (includes admission, 2 drinks, food, service charge and taxes)

    Reservations : please contact: Kim Knudsen at kimk@tokyo.hotelokura.co.jp or phone 03-3224-6710.

    News from Finland

    Stora Enso sells Summa mill site to Google for EUR 40 mln

    Finnish paper maker Stora Enso said in a statement Thursday it had signed an agreement to sell the buildings and most of the disused Summa mill site in southeastern Finland to California head-quartered internet giant Google for about 40 million euros.

    A rather unconventional data center...
    Stora Enso added that as part of the transaction, expected to close by the end of the first quarter, the parties had agreed to hand over part of the site to the local council for other industrial uses.

    Stora Enso stopped making paper in Summa in January 2008.

    Petri Kokko, the head of Google Finland, told the Finnish News Agency (STT) the company would convert the mill into a data centre.

    Mr Kokko said he could not provide an estimate of how many jobs the centre would create and added the timetable of the project had yet to be fixed.

    Grin of the week

    Technological breakthrough

    Japanese scientists have created a camera with a shutter speed so fast, they can now photograph a woman with her mouth shut.

    Well, this is a joke, but there are cameras fast enough, SEE HERE.

    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 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 68 corporate members, 15 individual and one special member.