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  ISSUE 33/2012 13 December 2012  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Couldn't resist the temptation...

Today, Finland's Swedish-speaking minority (yes, I am in the minority...) in particular celebrates Luciadagen, or St Lucy's Day, as a beacon of brightness in the dimmest time of year, just a week before Winter Solstice.

Though the historical 'Santa Lucia' was apparently an Italian Catholic, the feast day has been adopted by Lutherans in the Nordic countries and elsewhere.

Each year she is portrayed in Swedish-speaking towns and schools in Finland by a girl wearing a white robe with a red sash and a wreath with candles - nowadays usually battery-operated for safety's sake. She sings a Swedish version of the Neapolitan song "Santa Lucia" and sometimes distributes saffron buns known as Lussekattor.

This year's Lucia is Julia Hanhikoski (pictured right), an 18-year-old student from Kokkola (Karleby in Swedish) on the west coast, which happens to be my home town!

This week we also have a new contribution from Japan veteran in Finnish business his column Aoyama View, this time titled "Parliament Elections and Other Seasonal Fun". A good analysis of the coming elections and some other both fun and not so fun (like collapsing tunnels) stuff as well!
Click banner at right for an interesting read!

Report from the FCCJ Christmas Luncheon on Wednesday, 12 December

The traditional FCCJ Christmas Luncheon was held for the twelfth time at the Embassy of Finland on Wednesday, 12 December. The 27 participants enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by the Embassy's chef. Part of the menu was made on Embassy special solar-cooker.

H.E. Mr. Jari Gustafsson, Ambassador of Finland to Japan, gave an overview of recent developments in the relations between Japan and Finland and the activities of the Embassy. Mr. Heikki Makipaa, former Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan and now has his own company, Finland Japan Center for Education, explained about its activities.

At the luncheon, Mr. Veli Solehmainen (Vaisala K.K.) was awarded the most active FCCJ member in 2012, he has attended 11 events in the calendar year.

For a report from the luncheon, please click link at right!

Report from the 20th Scandinavian Christmas Party on Friday, 7 December

The social highlight of the year of the Nordic Chambers in Japan, the Scandinavian Christmas Party, was held on Friday, 7 December at the Westin Tokyo Hotel in Ebisu.

257 members from SCCJ (Sweden), DCCJ (Denmark), FCCJ (Finland), ICCJ (Iceland) and NCCJ (Norway) and their guests enjoyed a fantastic evening together with delicious Nordic Christmas influenced food and wine, and a lot of other drinks.

The party started with greetings from the organizing committee, followed by Christmas songs by a choir from the American School in Japan, a much appreciated performance by performance by the Cirque Blue group after which the real Santa paid a visit, assisting in the lotteries.

The evening was ended off with a lot of dancing until midnight to the tunes of Brad and the Hitmen.

For more about the party, and a lot of images, click link at right.

New book: 100 YEARS IN TOKYO

Finnish photographer Petri-Artturi Arikainen has recently published a photo book titled "100 Years in Tokyo", a series of photographs of Tokyoites from the age of 0 to 100, containing 202 portraits, of men and women for each year.

The book has been supported by Finnair and Honka Japan.

For more about the book, go to the book's web site were you could flip through the pages and also get information on how to order the book.

News from Finland

Fiskars broadens Nordic design palette

In a bid to expand eastward, the tool and housewares company Fiskars is to buy the Danish ceramics firm Royal Copenhagen.

The deal, announced Wednesday, is worth some 66 million euros. That includes production facilities and other operations in Thailand and Japan.

The hand-painted ceramics firm was founded in 1775 by the Danish Royal Family.

Fiskars, meanwhile, is Finland's oldest industrial company, having been founded in the village of the same name in 1649. It is best known for its often-copied orange-handled scissors.

Asian accent
The Finnish company is hoping the deal will spur its international growth, particularly in Asia.

"Along with its world-class craftsmanship, Royal Copenhagen brings to Fiskars 30 years of valuable experience of operating in Asia, which will support our growth strategy outside the Nordic markets,h said Fiskars CEO Kari Kaunisk

angas in a statement on Wednesday. Fiskars already owns such iconic Nordic houseware brands as Rorstrand of Sweden and Iittala and Arabia of Finland.

Grin of the Week

Some facts about Santa's reindeer

Did you know... While both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, according to the Sodankyla Reindeer Farming Association, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers until after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen - had to be a girl.

We should have known. Only women would be able to drag a fat old man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost....
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 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.