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  ISSUE 23/2006

13 November, 2006  

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

The 10th Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey was conducted in October and the report has now been published. The survey was sent to members at 15 organizations representing about 2,000 foreign affiliated companies and generated 378 valid responses.

The continuous optimistic mood in the Japanese economy was reflected in this survey, although the growth figures and estimates for both the economy and the companies' performances were more moderate than in the previous survey in April 2006. On a scale from -2 (strong decline) to +2 (strong improvement), this survey's forecast on the Japanese economy for the next six months had an overall index of +0.83 (compared to +1.09 in the April 2006 survey) and for the next 12 months, +0.91 (+1.12 in April 2006).

Regarding their own performance, the companies reported and forecasted for the next six months further gains in sales and profitability, but on a 15% lower level than in the previous survey. The manufacturing industry especially has improved its business results and expects to do so even further in the coming six months. Concerning the strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan, they continue to see Japan as a market with room to expand - 82% looking for further growth (same as in the April survey) and 16% expecting to sustain their current level. Only 2% reported that they plan to downsize and 0% (one company out of the surveyed 378) are considering withdrawing from the market.

For more on the survey and the full report, go here!

Tue. 28 November - Joint Nordic Luncheon Meeting organized by FCCJ
with Glen S. Fukushima, President & CEO, Airbus Japan K.K.

At the November luncheon meeting, which is a joint meeting with the Scandinavian Chambers we will have an interesting speaker, Mr. Glen S. Fukushima , who leads the Japan operations of Airbus S.A.S., the world's leading manufacturer of commercial aircraft, with 57,000 employees from 85 nationalities, headquartered in Toulouse, France. Mr. Fukushima will speak, "off the record", on the theme:
U.S.-Japan Relations: A European Company Perspective.

Details:

Date & Time: Tue. 28 November 12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, Take Room (B2F)
Cost: 7,000 yen for members, non-members 8,000 yen
(collected at the door)
Registration: by Friday 24 November

Profile of Glen S. Fukushima
A native of California where he was born in 1949. He began his career in a Los Angeles law firm in 1982. From 1985 to 1990, he was based in Washington, D.C. as Director for Japanese Affairs (1985-1988) and Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Japan and China (1988-1990) at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Executive Office of the President.

He has studied and worked in Japan for over 20 years, including at Keio University and University of Tokyo. He served as Vice President of AT&T Japan Ltd. 1990-1998. He was President and Representative Director of the Japan operations of Arthur D. Little, Inc. from 1998 to 2000, President and Chairman of the Japan operations of Cadence Design Systems, Inc. from 2000 to July 2004 and Co-President and Representative Director of NCR Japan Ltd. from August 2004 until he joined Airbus Japan in February 2005.

Mr Fukushima served two terms as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) in 1998 and 1999, and Vice President from 1993 to 1997.

If you would like to attend and have not yet registered, please click link at right.
Fri. 1 December - Stora Enso Cup - The Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge

The 9th Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge (team competition between the Finnish and the Swedish Chambers) is played on Friday 1 December for a trophy donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K.
Both Chambers will also play for their own respective cups.

Here are the details:
Date & Time:Friday, 1 December (first tee-off at 9:30)
Venue: Windsor Park Golf & Country Club, Ibaraki
Cost:11,000 yen (incl. green fee, caddie, tax and lunch/party fee and tax)
Registration:by Friday, 24 November

Note that as we play stroke-play with handicap, we need you accurate handicap. If you do not have an official handicap, give your three latest scores. The team score will be calculated from the best 80% net scores in each team.
After the registration dead-line we will send you further information, starting times, groups and directions to the course. Prize donations are naturally most welcome!

For more information and registration form, please click link below.
Fri. 8 December - Scandinavian Christmas Party

The social highlight of the year of the Nordic Chambers in Japan, the Scandinavian Christmas Party, is this year held on Friday, 8 December, at the same venue as last year, The Westin Tokyo.

The registration is now open. As the number of seats is limited and we expect the event to become sold out, if you plan to participate, please sign up as soon as possible.

We are also still recruiting sponsors for the party. Without the continuous support from a large number of companies and organizations, we could not have made this event as enjoyable as it has been throughout the years.

Tor register or to sign-up as a sponsor, go to the Christmas Party web site by clicking link below.
Tue 21 Nov./Fri 1 Dec. - Luncheons with EBC Chairman Richard Collasse

The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (DIHKJ) invites members of the national chamber members and Embassy colleagues, to join us for a Luncheon Meeting on Tuesday, 21 November , 2006 with the chair of the EBC, Mr. Collasse, speaking about "Lobbying for Europe in Japan - how you can use the EBC for your purposes". If you are interested in this event, please refer to the attached flyer-registration form for details. See link below.
Please do not send your registration to the FCCJ, but directly to the German Chamber. Fax: 5276-8733 e-mail: emitsumura@dihkj.or.jp

The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) is organising a joint National European Chamber lunch meeting on Friday, 1 December with Mr. Richard Collasse, Chairman of the European Business Council (EBC). Mr. Collasse will speak about the EBC's 2006 white paper entitled, "New Leadership - Renewed Reform: The EBC Report on the Japanese Business Environment 2006".

Registration to attend the event should be made with the BCCJ through the link below.
Sat. 18 Nov. - Let's Enjoy Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking is perfect for enjoying outdoor excercise. It is easy to learn, it is fun and it fits for everyone. On November 18 it will introduced at Yoyogi Park, in Tokyo.

Nordic Walking uses specifically designed poles to engage the upper body during fitness walking. In Finland it is one of the most popular sports nowadays - every fifth of the Finns does Nordic Walking at least once a week.

For further details and registration to the event, click link below.
Thu. 30. Nov. - Fri. 1 Dec. - Okayama Industrial Tour Information
In order to promote the entry of foreign businesses into Okayama Prefecture, the Okayama Prefectural Government and JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) have decided to hold a tour to survey the investment environment in Okayama Prefecture for interested parties.

This tour is designed to deepen the understanding of the great potential for investment in Okayama Prefecture through such activities as site tours. This is an excellent opportunity to understand the real potential for investment in Okayama Prefecture.

For details of the tour, click link at right..
Investment Seminar in Tokyo;
Mon. 4 Dec. - Focus on Finland - A Preferred Choice for Global Hi-tech Companies

Embassy of Finland in Tokyo organises in co-operation with Finland Trade Center (Finpro), Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) and Japan Institute for Overseas Investment (JOI) an investment seminar for Japanese companies on Monday 4 December at 14.00-18.00 in Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

The objective of the seminar is to highlight that business-wise there's much more in Finland than immediately meets the eye. Location inside the largest single market in the world, the European Union and position as a gateway to rapidly growing Russian markets are just two well known but not isolated reasons to establish presence in Finland.

For more information please go to the Café's web site by clicking link at right.
News from Finland

Finland's Sampo sells banking arm to Danske Bank

Following a suspension of trading in the Finnish bancassurer's shares at the Helsinki Stock Exchange, Sampo said in a statement Thursday it had signed an agreement to sell all Sampo Bank shares to Danske Bank for a cash consideration of 4.05 million euros, adding the group would book a gain of about 2.9 billion.

In addition to Sampo Bank, the group includes property and casualty insurer If and life insurance company Sampo Life, which will "continue to follow their current strategies", the statement added.

Grin of the week

Too late

Tourist guide at zoo: "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the elephant, the largest animal to roam the lands. Every day the elephant eats 3 dozen bunches of bananas, 6 tons of hay, and 2000 pounds of assorted fruits. Madam, please don't stand near the elephant's backside.... Madam, PLEASE don't stand near the elephant's backside ... MADAM ... MADAM ..., too late; George, dig her out."


A final note in this long bulletin; the final FCCJ event of this fiscal year, the Christmas Luncheon at the Embassy, will be held on Thursday 14 December. Mark this date in your calendar already now, more information to follow!
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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ABOUT THIS BULLETIN
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 67 corporate members, 16 individual and one special member.