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  ISSUE 4/2008 14 February, 2008  

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

Happy Valentine's Day!

A small quiz (don't look at the graph below yet!)
Which Nordic country had the largest overall trade with Japan in 2007 according to Japanese trade statistics?

No, it wasn't Sweden, nor Denmark, but Finland (now you could look at the graph). Due to a strong Japanese export of automobiles, electronic components, machinery, TVs, etc., the trade between Finland and Japan rose to 3,092 million euros, while the trade between Sweden and Japan was 3,091 million euros. Close, but still...

However, when looking at the countries' export to Japan (blue bar), Finland is third, clearly behind Sweden and Denmark but slightly ahead of Norway.

If you want to do some own research on Japan's foreign trade, please check this excellent web site: http://www.customs.go.jp/toukei/info/index_e.htm

Wednesday, 20 February - FCCJ Special Event
FCCJ Tax Seminar for Foreign-Affiliated Companies

To give you an insight in the Japanese taxation, and some valuable tips, FCCJ organizes a tax seminar on Wednesday, 20, February were Mr. Yoshinori Sano, Certified Public Accountant (Azabu Tax Corporation), FCCJ board member and well known among the Finnish business community, is our expert on these issues.

Note that Mr. Sano will cover both individual and corporation tax issues.

Details:
Date & Time:Wednesday, 20 February, 18.00-20.00
Venue: Stora Enso Japan K. K., Meeting Room, 5 Fl.
Sumitomo Fudosan Kojimachi Bldg. No. 3
3-6, Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, TOKYO
Cost:3,000 yen incl. light meal and refreshments
(collected at the door)
Registration:by Monday, 18 February
Note: due to space limitations, this is a member only event.

The participation is limited to 20 persons. We have a few seats left so in case you would like to attend and have not yet registered, please do so as soon as possible by clicking link below.
Tuesday, 4 March - FCCJ Special Event
Finland Promotion Evening at Grand Prince Akasaka

Grand Prince Akasaka (formerly known as Akasaka Prince Hotel) is organizing a Finnish dinner and cultural evening on Tuesday, 4 March. The event is supported by the Embassy of Finland, Finnish Tourist Board and Finnair.

The program contains buffet dinner with Finnish dishes, Finnish music, showing of tourism promotion DVDs and mini stalls with Finnish goods. Finnish tango and dance is one of the main features. with an authentic ensemble comprising accordion, violin, piano and contrabass.

Details:
Date & Time:Tuesday, 4 March, 18:30-21:00
Venue: Grand Prince Akasaka, Crystal Palace, New Annex Bldg. 2F   MAP
Cost:15,000 yen per person (incl. buffet dinner, drinks, service & tax)

Grand Prince Akasaka will contact our members directly, but in case you are interested and do not get any information, please contact me and I will pass on the information to the hotel.

For a draft flyer of the event (unfortunately only in Japanese as of now), click link below.
EBC Recommendations for EU-Japan Economic Integration Agreement

In June 2007 in Berlin, the EU-Japan Business Dialogue Roundtable resolved to prepare joint industry recommendations for an EU-Japan Economic Integration Agreement (EIA). Since that time, the EBC has developed draft proposals for concrete measures to be incorporated into this Agreement, based on the contributions of the EU business community in Japan in the period from July 2007 through January 2008, covering a wide variety of sectors. These draft proposals are now presented in the attached report. (click link below)

EBC welcomes the views and further contributions, especially if your sector is not yet included, from companies, business and industry associations and others. Please send comments and text to EBC Policy Director, Mr. Jakob Edberg at edberg@ebc-jp.com by February 25.
News from Finland

Häkämies tells Finnish opposition no changes in ownership policy

Jyri Häkämies (cons), the Finnish minister in charge of ownership steering, responded to an interpellation on Wednesday by saying that the centre-right government's ownership policy would not change.

In the interpellation, the opposition had challenged the ownership policy and accused the government of inaction following Stora Enso's decision to close two mills in Finland.

Mr Häkämies said the current government's line was the same as that followed by previous cabinets.

"The government does what falls in the realm of its responsibility, but has also recognised the limits of its actions," the minister said.

Mr Häkämies underlined that the government would continue to let listed companies operate unhindered and not force them to act against their own interests.

Grins of the week

The new blacksmith

The village blacksmith finally found an apprentice willing to work hard at low pay for long hours. The blacksmith immediately began his instructions to the lad, "When I take the shoe out of the fire, I'll lay it on the anvil; and when I nod my head, you hit it with this hammer."

The apprentice did just as he told. Now he's the village blacksmith.


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 64 corporate members, 16 individual and one special member.