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  ISSUE 19/2004

15 October, 2004  


Next week is going to be a busy one for Finnish interests in Japan.

The President of Finland, Ms. Tarja Halonen, is on an official working visit in Japan 20-24 October. She will be accompanied by her spouse, Dr. Pentti Arajärvi, and the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Ms. Sinikka Mönkäre and a high level business delegation lead by Ms. Paula Lehtomäki, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development (read more about the FCCJ breakfast meeting with Minister Lehtomäki and the Buisness Delegation below).

President Halonen will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress will host a Court Luncheon in honor of the President and Dr. Arajärvi. The President will also visit Kyoto.

This is the first time for President Halonen to visit Japan during her presidential term.

22 October - Breakfast Meeting with Minister Lehtomäki

Ms. Paula Lehtomäki, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, will visit Japan in connection with the official working visit of President Tarja Halonen.

On this occasion the FCCJ will organize a breakfast meeting at Imperial Hotel with Minister Lehtomäki and the Finpro Business Delegation accompanying President Halonen to Japan. The leader of the Business Delegation, Juha Rantanen, incoming President & CEO of Outokumpu Group (from 1 Jan. 2005), as well as FCCJ President Mika Mäkinen will also make presentations at the meeting.


Date & Time:Friday 22 October, 08:30-10:00
Place: Imperial Hotel, Fuji Room (3F)
Cost:5,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Wed. 20 October

Profile of Minister Lehtomäki
  • Minister for Foreign Trade and Development and Minister at
          the Prime Minister's Office, 17 April 2003 onwards
  • Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration), Bachelor of Social Sciences
  • Date and place of birth: 29 November 1972, Kuhmo, Finland
  • Place of Residence: Kuhmo
  • Member of Parliament (Centre Party), 1999 onwards

  • If you would like to register (no later than Wed. 20 October), please click link at right.
    5 November - Stora Enso Cup - The Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge

    The 6th Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge (team competition between the Finnish and the Swedish Chambers) is played on Friday 5 November for a trophy donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K.
    The Swedish Chamber won last three times, so now it is time to take back the cup!

    Here are the details:
    Date & Time:Friday, 5 November (shotgun start at 9:00)
    Venue: Windsor Park Golf & Country Club, Ibaraki
    Cost:12,500 yen (incl. green fee, caddie, tax and lunch/party fee and tax)
    Registration:by Tuesday, 26 October

    Note that as we play stroke-play with handicap, we need you accurate handicap. If you do not have an official handicap, give your three latest scores. The team score will be calculated from the best 80% net scores in each team.
    After the registration dead-line we will send you further information, starting times, groups and directions to the course. Prize donations are naturally most welcome!

    For map and more information, including the special additional pack, click here.

    If you would like to register (no later than Tue. 26 October), please click link at right.
    Report from the first FCCJ Club Evening

    The first FCCJ Club Evening was held on Wednesday 6 October at the Finland Cafe ion Nakameguro.

    The Cafe, which is a promotion project organized by the Finnish Tourist Board and open for four weeks (until 24 October), provided a perfect atmosphere for the club evening.

    The 45 members and guests attending the event could enjoy a Finnish style buffet, shop a large variety of Finnish products and discuss with colleagues at other member companies.

    For more images from the evening, click link at right.
    ACCJ Speakers' Luncheon with Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara
    The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) organized, in cooperation with the Canadian, British, French and Finnish Chambers, on 5 October a luncheon with the outspoken Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara.

    Governor Ishihara spent a substantial part of his presentation on problems facing SMI's in Tokyo, especially their difficulties to secure financing from the mega-banks. Therefor the Tokyo Metropolitan government will found a bank, in coperation with Toyota, JR East, Ito-Yokado, Orix and other big companies in March next year to ease this problem. He also mentioned that the Metropolitan government has established a one-stop help desk for foreign companies that want to establish operations here.

    The event was attended by almost 400 members from the five chambers, including 7 from the FCCJ.

    Scandinavian Christmas Party Sponsorship
    The preparations for the 12th Scandinavian Christmas Party held on Friday, December 10th at the Royal Park Hotel, are in full swing and we promise to bring you again an enjoyable and exciting evening together with 450 friends from the other Scandinavian Chambers.

    We have now opened the web site for this year's event, which we hope will provide you all necessary information about the party, make registrations easier and give the sponsors more value for their contributions.

    We will start accepting registrations on the web site from November 1st.

    Currently we are recruiting sponsors for the event. If you are interested to become a sponsor, please go to the web site (link below) for details on sponsor opportunities and sign-up form.

    If you sign-up as a sponsor now, before we open registration and announce the site to all chamber members, you will get most benefit of your contribution.
    News from Finland

    Finland tops WEF competitiveness ranking for third straight year

    Finland's economy is the most competitive in the world, praises the latest Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), released on Wednesday. Finland topped the ranking in 2003 and 2002 as well.

    WEF says Finland's strengths include a well-managed economic policy, top-class public institutions, the ability of the private sector to adapt new technology and innovativeness. On the flip side, Finland is weighed down by high taxation and rigid labour markets, WEF reckons.

    The WEF top ten after Finland is the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan and Iceland.

    The survey is based on interviews of 8,700 business leaders across the world. The study probed the competitiveness of 104 countries.
    Grin of the week

    Drunk and Arthritis

    A drunk that smelled like a brewery got on a bus one day. He sat down next to a priest. The drunk's shirt was stained, his face was full of bright red lipstick and he had a half-empty bottle of wine sticking out of his pocket. He opened his newspaper and started reading. A couple minutes later, he asked the priest, "Father, what causes arthritis?"

    "Mister, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, and contempt for your fellow man," the priest replied. "Imagine that," the drunk muttered. He returned to reading his paper.

    The priest, thinking about what he had said, turned to the man and apologized: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?"
    "I don't have arthritis, Father," the drunk said, "but I just read in the paper that the Pope does."

    A final note; the sixth edition (Autumn 2004) of the Foreign Chambers Business Confidence survey is ongoing. I have sent out the notice to our foreign (Finnish) affiliated members. In case you lost the notice, go HERE to complete the survey.
    Our humble thanks to FINNAIR for supporting the survey!

    Have a nice weekend!

    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, 15 individual and one special member.