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  ISSUE 12/2009 15 May, 2009  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

It's back to business in Japan after a long Golden week holiday. Therefore I have a lot of items in this bulletin, hope you have time to check all the way to the bottom...;-).

We have now the results of the Foreign Chambers Business Confidence survey. Although the economy is not expected to recover much in the sort term, there are some bright spots on the horizon. Read more below!

Some bright spots on the horizon?
FCIJ Business Confidence Survey - Spring 2009

The Foreign Chambers in Japan (FCIJ) has been conducting Business Confidence surveys online twice a year since 2002 among foreign-affiliated companies in Japan. The fifteenth survey was conducted between April 13 and 24, 2009, and received 451 valid responses, an 8% increase from the Fall 2008 survey.

Although reported sales and profitability figures for the past six months were the worst in the history of this survey (since 2002) with sales having an index of -0.56 on the scale from +2 to -2 (compared to +0.10 in the fall 2008 survey and profitability - 0.44 (+0.03), this survey shows that the surveyed companies see some bright spots on the horizon.

The economy for the next 6 months is still expected to slide, -0.44 (compared to -0.91 in fall 2008), but looking 12 months ahead, the companies see a turn for the better - the index shows +0.21 (-0.55 in the previous survey). Even more importantly, the forecasts for the coming six months for sales and profitability both show a growth, small but still. The sales forecast index was +0.15 (previous survey -0.05) and that for profitability +0.13 (-0.12). Only 9% expect a further strong decline in sales and profitability, while 48% and 46% respectively see strong of some improvement.

The next survey will be conducted in October 2009.

For the full report, click link at right!
Thursday, 28 May - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting
Hitotaka Sakurada, General Manager, F-Secure KK:
"IT security market dynamics and potential opportunity in Japan"

Our next luncheon meeting will be held on Thursday, 28 May, where we will have Mr. Hitotaka Sakurada, General Manager, F-Secure KK as your speaker. Mr. Sakurada will talk about "IT security market dynamics and potential opportunity in Japan", e.g.
  • Japan Security Market size and segmentation
  • Market drivers cerate trend as today
  • What is future trend
  • Where is Japan market uniqueness and potential opportunity


    Date & Time:Thursday, 28 May, 12.00-14:00
    Venue: Hotel Okura, Kensington Terrace (South Wing 12F) MAP
    Cost:7,000 yen for members, non-members 8,000 yen (collected at the door)
    Registration:by Tuesday, 26 May

    Profile of Mr. Sakurada
    Mr. Sakurada joined F-Secure May 2008 as General Manager at F-Secure K.K. From 2003 until joining F-Secure he held positions as Director for Partner Business Development and for the Enterprise Center of Competency at Dell Japan. Previously he also worked for among others, Lucent Technologies Japan, Marconi Communications Japan

    About F-Secure
    Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Finland, F-Secure protects consumers and businesses against computer security and other online threats from the Internet and mobile networks. We want to be the most reliable provider of internet security services in the market.

    If you would like to attend and have not yet registered, please click link at right.
    Thursday, 21 May - Norwegian Chamber Business Luncheon
    Lars Sandahl Sörensen:
    "Flying the Colours in Challenging Times: The SAS Story"

    The Norwegian Chamber invites members of the other Nordic Chambers to a Business Luncheon presentation by Lars Sandahl Sörensen, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Scandinavian Airline System (SAS).
    Do not miss the opportunity to hear his interesting presentation and learn about how SAS is dealing with the current economic crisis and other challenges.


    Date & Time:Thursday, 21 May, 12.00-14:00
    Venue: Norwegian Embassy, Multi-function Hall MAP
    Cost:5,000 yen (collected at the door)
    Registration:by Monday, 23 February

    Profile of Mr. Sörensen
    Lars Sandahl Sörensen joined Scandinavian Airlines International as General Manager, Australia and New Zealand, in 2003. In September 2006, he returned to Scandinavia and took on the role as Chief Commercial Officer. Almost a year later he became CEO of SAS International. On February 4, 2009, he was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of SAS.

    Prior to SAS, Sandahl Sörensen was CEO of the Danish Tourist Board/Visit Denmark, as well as Director of the Scandinavian Tourist Board in Tokyo and has held positions in Danish Industries (DI), IKEA and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    If you would like to attend, please register directly with the Norwegian Chamber by clicking link below.

    Tuesday, 26 May - European Business Council (EBC) Seminar
    Japanese 2009 Tax Reform, Economic Downturn, and Stimulus Packages - Implications for European Firms in Japan

    The European Business Council (EBC) in Japan is pleased to invite you to a seminar on: "Japanese 2009 Tax Reform, Economic Downturn, and Stimulus Packages - Implications for European Firms in Japan" organised by the EBC Tax Committee.


    Date & Time:Tuesday, 26 May, 17:30 - 19:00
    Venue: Delegation of the European Commission in Japan, 6F, Rainbow Room MAP
    Cost:5,000 yen (collected at the door)
    Registration:by Friday, 22 May

    Tax policies and policy discussions have been heating up considerably in the early months of 2009. Crucial changes within the 2009 tax reforms have been accompanied by a wider range of tax policy discussions within the framework of the stimulus packages, following the financial crisis.

    The new economic realities change focus for many companies, also when it comes to tax. In this seminar, EBC tax committee members will explain major developments and examine potential opportunities for European Businesses in Japan within the tax reforms and re-visit rules of crucial importance in times of downsizing.

    If you would like to attend, please click link below for more information and registration.
    Request from the EBC Food Committee Chairman
    Speeding up the process of approving food additives in Japan

    The EBC has received notification from the European Commission regarding a plan to seek to place increased pressure on the Japanese government to speed up the process of approving the existing list of 46 priority additives that was prepared in December 2002. So far, just 27 additives have been approved out of the 46. The summary list can be seen in the attached file, which also includes flavouring components highlighted in grey.

    The European Delegation now wishes to present the Japanese government with a new list of additives. This new list of additives will be those additives that the European food industry considers to be important but which are not included in the existing list. The attached letter from Mr. Ignacio Garcia Bercero explains the process. This request has been passed to all the European embassies. We (the EBC) would like to use this opportunity to make a request to all national European Chambers of Commerce members involved in importing food products to provide feedback to the EBC regarding any additives that are not currently approved in Japan that they would like to have approved. It should be taken into account that the authorities will invariably apply the same critera as the existing list that to be approved, such additives should be approved by JECFA and be widely used in the EU and the USA.

    Could you please provide your request to:
    Duco Delgorge, EBC Food Committee Chairman

    Replies must be received by 8 June, 2009. These will be collated and sent to Taina Sateri as indicated in the attached letter, with a copy to the EU Delegation in Japan.
    Invitation to JETRO ZONE at Green Device 2009 - Exhibition & Business Meeting Service

    The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has invited European companies to participate at the inaugural Green Device 2009 exhibition held simultaneously with FPD International 2009 (28-30 October).

    The main theme and exhibition sectors of Green Device 2009 include environmentally friendly sustainable electronic devices facilitating CO2 reduction, and related manufacturing/testing equipment, component and materials. JETRO has obtained 20 booths as well as other services, such as pre-arranged business meetings and interpretation, for participating companies free of charge.

    Applications will close on May 26th 2009. Please contact Mr. Tsutomu Ishii ( or Ms. Sawako Komine ( directly if you are interested in participating.
    For more information, click link at right.

    Thursday May 21 - DCCJ Event
    Bang & Olufsen is having Family sale for Chamber members

    Bang & Olufsen is holding a family sale for Chamber members at the Danish Embassy from 14:00 to 20:30 (free en come at any time, entrance open to 20.00).

    There will be a small presentation by Lars Myrup in the evening from 19:00-19:30. Registration is only needed if members wish to participate in the Presentation in the evening.

    Discount are form 10-80% of their popular items!

    News from Finland

    Finnish first-quarter bankruptcies up 33 pct yr/yr

    About 890 companies went under in Finland in the first quarter of the year, representing a year-on-year increase of about 33 per cent, Statistics Finland (SF) said in a statement Thursday.

    The companies that went bankrupt in the January-to-March period employed about 4,000 people between them.

    Grin of the Week

    It's not always what you think...

    A photographer for a national magazine was assigned to take pictures of a great forest fire. He was advised that a small plane would be waiting to fly him over the fire.

    The photographer arrived at the airstrip just an hour before sundown. Sure enough, a small Cessna airplane was waiting. He jumped in with his equipment and shouted, "Let's go!" The tense man sitting in the pilot's seat swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air, though flying erratically.

    "Fly over the north side of the fire," said the photographer, "And make several low-level passes."

    "Why?" asked the nervous pilot.

    "Because I'm going to take pictures!" yelled the photographer. "I'm a photographer, and photographers take pictures!"

    The pilot replied, "You mean you're not the flight instructor?"
  • Have a nice weekend and
    Best regards

    Clas G. Bystedt
    If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
    send it to:

    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 68 corporate members, 15 individual and one special member.