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15 MARCH, 2001  


I have been complaining about the weather and the stock markets in some of our previous bulletins. Now the weather seems to have taken notice, the stock markets not.
And the political life in Japan is still out in the "forest", but I don't think it helps if I complain about that...

FCCJ Annual General Assembly
The FCCJ Annual General Assembly will be held on Friday 30 March at 16.30 at the Embassy of Finland. The meeting will be followed by a buffet reception partly sponsored by Vaisala K.K. and Nippon Finnap Ltd. at 18.00.

This occasion is also a farewell party for the FCCJ President, Mr. Rauno Sirola, who will retire from his company, Vaisala K.K. at the end of March and leave Japan, and subsequently also retire as President of FCCJ at the Annual General Assembly.

The invitations were mailed to members on Monday. If you are a member, or otherwise got the invitation, you could also register by clicking the link to the right. Please indicate if you ONLY participate in meeting or party.

Report from Tax Seminar
The tax seminar for expatriates was held on 5 March at Nippon Finnpap. Mr. Yoshinori Sano, Certified Public Accountant and Mr. Yoshimichi Sano were our experts.

Issues that were clarified at the seminar included classification by resident status, non-taxable/taxable benefits, deductions from income/income tax table and stock options.
A lively discussion proved that the seminar came to a good need and it was attended by 16 participants. We plan to have a similar seminar around same time next year, i.e. just before the dead-line for tax returns.

Joint Chamber Seminar: Revisions of the Commercial Code
The Japanese government is undertaking major revisions of the Commercial Code to modernize the legal environment in response to the changing international business environment. Reform of the Code is centered around five key points: facilitating speedy and flexible decision-making, expanding firms' choice of management systems, strengthening market monitoring of public companies, diversifying capital for private companies, and adopting information technology-related measures. While the government aims to increase the competitiveness of Japanese firms and revitalize the economy, appropriate revision of the Code to strengthen corporate governance and improve transaction mechanics will also further open up the environment for foreign direct investment in Japan.

Tony Zaloom, Chairman of the Commercial Code Task Force of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and a partner with Mori Sogo Law Office, and Jonathan Kushner, the ACCJ's Director of Policy Affairs, will describe the ACCJ's activities in this area and provide some important insight on the Commercial Code reform process.

Date: Monday, April 16
Time: 18:30-20:00
Place: Canadian Embassy 4F
Cost: Members 3,000
Snacks and beverages will be available. If you are intereseted in the event, please register by 10 April by clicking the link to the right.

1st EU-Japan Mobile Conference
The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation in cooperation with JAPNO.NET llc organizes the First EU-Japan Mobile Conference on 26 March.

  • Find out what is happening in the EU and Japan Mobile & Wireless Internet markets: what are the Europeans in Japan / the Japanese in Europe doing?
  • Meet the actual players of the "Mobile Revolution" and hear about their opinions on the current and future trends. Start thinking how your business can take advantage of Mobile Systems; understand about their increasing influence in the transformation of business processes.
  • Learn about the latest developments in the mobile industry and their impact on the growth of the Mobile business.
    Date: Monday, March 26
    Time: 9:00 - 16:00
    Location: Keidanren Hall, Otemachi, Tokyo
    For more information on the conference and registration, click link to the right.

    Location Map Office for rent
    As you might be aware of, Nordea (formerly Merita Nordbanken) is unfortunately closing their office in Tokyo this summer. They occupy now an office of 35.4 tsubo (approx. 118 sq.m) in a fairly new building right above Kamiyacho station. The rent is very reasonable taking into accout the location and the standard of the office and building.

    The office will be available early summer. In case you are interested to discuss this further, please contact:

    Mr. Pasi Polkki, Chief Representative
    Tel. 03-3459-0610
    Fax. 03-3459-0640
    E-mail: merita@twics.com

    News from Finland
    IT the "locomotive" of export growth
    The explosive growth in High-tech exports made Finnish exports grow by 26 % and created a record high export surplus, which was 75.5. bill. FIM, or 18.7. bill FIM higher that a year before.

    According to statistics published on Tuesday, Finnish exports rose to 293.6 bill. FIM in 2000. Import grew by 24 % to 218.2 bill. FIM.
    The share of high-tech industries exports rose to 23.3 % of the total.

    For more news, click link to the right.

    Grin of the Week
    "What a difference 30 years can make"

    1970 Long Hair
    2000 Longing for hair

    1970 Growing pot
    2000 Growing pot belly

    1970 Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor
    2000 Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor

    1970 US president's struggle with Fidel
    2000 US president's struggle with fidelity

    1970 Getting out to a new, hip joint
    2000 Getting a new hip joint

    1970 Rolling Stones
    2000 Kidney stones

    1970 Passing the driver's test
    2000 Passing the vision test

    Yes, and one more thing...
    Earlier today I sent out to Finnish companies in Japan a questionnaire for compiling the next issue for a Finnish Business Barometer in Japan. This survey is conducted in cooperation with the Embassy and Trade Office (Finpro). If you received it, please return it by 25 March. Thanks!
    In case you consider yourself working for a Finnish company in Japan, and DID NOT rceive it, please contact me. Note that we sent basically one questionnaire per company.

    Best regards

    Clas G. Bystedt

    If you have any comments, rumors, gossip and inside information,
    send it to to:

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    This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 220 persons among its members and related organizations.
    FCCJ was established in April 1999 to promote trade and economic exchage between Japan and Finland and has today 72 corporate members.