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  ISSUE 23/2004

13 December, 2004  


We had a great Scandinavian Christmas Party on Friday with 429 participants, 88 of whom from the FCCJ. The picture at right of the Lucia parade at the party is timely, because today is the Lucia Day, celebrated in Sweden and Finland, at least in the Swedish speaking parts of the country, including a Lucia Parade in Helsinki.

Our last event before the holiday season is our traditional Christmas Luncheon at the Embassy. In addition to what has earlier been informed, we also have a guest speaker from Finland, Mr. Risto E.J. Penttilä, Director at the Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA. He will give a brief update on the current economic developments in Finland.

Read more about the Christmas Party and the Luncheon below.

The 12th Scandinavian Christmas Party a success!

427 guests from SCCJ (Sweden), DCCJ (Denmark), FCCJ (Finland), NCCJ (Norway) and ICCJ (Iceland) enjoyed a fantastic evening together with delicious food and wine (plus some other drinks...), Taiko drum performance, a hip-hop dance show and ending off the night to a lot of dancing with the Hitmen. FCCJ had 88 participants.

Thanks to sponsoring from 62 companies, amounting close to 7 million yen, the evening was also filled with lotteries for great prices, the highlight being four business class tickets to Scandinavia (and Finland) from our long time supporters, Finnair and SAS.

For more about the Christmas Party, click at right.
Christmas Luncheon Meeting
The traditional FCCJ Christmas Luncheon is again this year held at our Embassy, were we can enjoy a Finnish style Christmas buffet prepared by the Embassy's chef.

Here are the details:
Date & Time:Friday, 17 December, 12:00-14:00
Place: Embassy of Finland
(3-5-39, Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo)  MAP 
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Tuesday, 14 December

H.E. Mr. Eero Salovaara, Ambassador of Finland to Japan, will brief us on current issues in Japan-Finland relations and changes in the Embassy personnel. In addition, Mr. Risto E.J. Penttilä, Director at the Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA, will brief us on current economic developments in Finland.

Please note that we will collect the luncheon fee of 7,000 yen at the Embassy and provide you with receipt. Note also that we have to invoice the lunch fee for cancellations later than 14 December and "no-shows".

If you would like to attend and have not yet registered, please click link at right, no later than tomorrow Tuesday. Note that due to space restrictions, this event is open to FCCJ members only (incl. staff at member companies).
News from Finland

Finnish full-year GDP growth to top 3 pct -Bank of Finland

The Bank of Finland said on Thursday that growth in the Finnish economy "remains satisfactory" but added that European growth is hindered by slow exports growth not counterbalanced by domestic demand.

"Finnish GDP growth has accelerated in the course of 2004 and could just top 3% for the year. However, Finland has not experienced a traditional upswing, since export performance has been lacklustre. This has been the case despite robust demand growth in the country's export markets - excluding the euro area," a Bank of Finland summary of the latest 'Euro & Talous' review said.

Bank of Finland Governor Erkki Liikanen said in the publication event of the quarterly review that the apex has been reached in both the Finnish and the global economies.
Next year Finnish output will grow slightly slower than earlier forecast, Mr Liikanen added.

In September, the Bank put Finnish GDP growth at 3.0 per cent this year, 3.2 the next and 2.7 in 2006. The next forecast is due out early next year.
Grin of the week

Good excuse

A man in his 40's bought a new BMW and was out on the expressway for a nice evening drive. The top was down, the breeze was blowing through what was left of his hair, and he decided give it a run. As the needle jumped up to 140 kph, he suddenly saw flashing red and blue lights behind him. "There's no way they can catch a BMW," he thought to himself and opened her up further. The needle hit 160, 180.... then the reality of the situation hit him. "What the heck am I doing?" he thought and pulled over.

The cop came up to him, took his license without a word, and examined it and the car. "It's been a long day, this is the end of my shift, and it's Friday the 13th. I don't feel like more paperwork, so if you can give me an excuse for your driving that I haven't heard before, you can go." The guy thinks for a second and says, "Last week my wife ran off with a cop. I was afraid you were trying to give her back."
"Have a nice weekend," said the officer.

That's all for now, hope to see many of you on Friday! And if you leave for a holiday before my next weeks bulletin, Mery Christmas and A Happy New Year!

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 550 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.