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  ISSUE 5/2004

26 February, 2004  


This time I would like to make a "push" for our luncheon meeting on Thursday.
Even though our guest speaker, former Ambassador of Japan to Finland, Mr. Norimasa Hasegawa, for sure has a lot of interesting views on Japan-Finland relations, and how to further develop them, his presentation will now become even more interesting as it is confirmed that he will run for the Upper House in the coming elections. As a former Vice-Minister of Post and Telecommunications, he might have some interesting views on the privatization of Japan Post...
Read more below about the meeting.

Report from the February Luncheon Meeting

Mr. Hasegawa served as Japan's Ambassador to Finland and Estonia for three years from 2000 till 2003. Although it was his first time to go to Finland when taking up his post, he soon became very fond of the country and said that he already missed Finland, and felt very relaxed to breathe the Finnish atmosphere at the luncheon. Mr. Hasegawa is not a career diplomat and going to Finland was his first and last chance to be Ambassador, for which he was grateful.

He expressed his thanks to the FCCJ for our efforts to achieve a Finnish participation at the EXPO 2005 AICHI, which he believes is a very good opportunity to promote Finland in Japan, and further develop relations between the two countries. Finland and Japan have much in common, as examples he mentioned that the first direct flight from Japan to Europe was to Helsinki, the first Japanese car to be introduced in Europe was in Finland, the cooperation between Nokia and NTT DoCoMo for the 3G mobile phone standard and the Kone-Toshiba cooperation.

For a full report from the meeting, please click link below.
March Luncheon Meeting

At our March luncheon we will have a ministerial visitor from Finland. The guest speaker is Mr. Antti Kalliomäki, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance. Mr. Kalliomäki will speak about the Euro, Euro-zone and Finland.


Date & Time:Monday, 15 March, 12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, Take Room, B2F [MAP]
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Thursday 11 March

Profile of Antti Kalliomäki
  • Minister deputising for the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, from 17 April 2003
  • Date and place of birth: 8 January 1947, Siikainen
  • Teacher (Physical Training)
  • Member of Parliament, Social Democratic Party
  • Place of Residence: Nurmijarvi

  • If you would like to attend, please click link below.
    Membership Drive for the
    European Business Community (EBC) Food Committee

    The European Business Community is the trade policy arm of the combined European national chambers of commerce in Japan. Together the EBC represents the interests of over 3,000 European firms who are members of a European Chamber, with over 350 of these firms active in one of the EBC's 27 industry committees covering a wide variety of economic sectors and business areas.

    The EBC Food Committee promotes the interests of European food producers in Japan. It is a platform for members to share information on the market environment, to liaise with European embassy representatives, and directly lobby the Japanese Government for changes in way the food sector is regulated in Japan.

    Are you facing any obstacles doing business in the Japanese food sector? Would you like to help lobby the Japanese Government to improve the environment for European food producers in Japan? Are you looking to share concerns with colleagues in a non-political process? Then perhaps you should consider joining the EBC Food Committee.

    For more information, please click link below.
    News from Finland

    Finland's GDP rose in December

    Finland's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.9 per cent in December 2003 from a year earlier, and 0.2 per cent from the previous month, Statistics Finland (SF) said Friday.

    SF said in a statement all the six business branches, primary production, industry, construction, transport, commerce and the other service sectors added to their year ago GDP in December. In the three months through December, GDP, the widest measure of economic activity, rose 1.1 per cent at an annual level and 0.1 per cent from the second quarter.
    Grin of the week

    The Plus Sign

    Little Tommy was doing very badly in math. His parents had tried everything; tutors, special learning centers, in short, everything they could think of. Finally in a last effort, they enrolled him in the local Catholic School.

    After the first day, little Tommy comes home with a very serious look on his face. He goes straight to his room and starts studying. His mother is amazed. She calls him down to dinner and the minute he is done he marches back to his room hitting the books as hard as before.

    Finally, little Tommy brings home his report card. His mom looks at it and to her surprise, little Tommy got an A in math. She can no longer hold her curiosity and says: "Swas it the books, the discipline, the structure, the uniforms, WHAT was it?".

    Little Tommy looks at her and says, "Well, on the first day of school, when I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they were serious about it."

    Hope you have a good and productive week &
    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 500 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.