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  ISSUE 13/2004

17 June, 2004  


Time is running...and it is hard to believe that soon we are half-way through 2004. I am probably not the only one who feels that there are only Mondays and Fridays in a week. So to prove that there are also other working days, I write this on a Thursday...

Time is running also for the organizers of the Nordic Participation at EXPO 2005 AICHI. Yesterday there was a luncheon meeting with Nordic Chambers, Embassies and export promotion organizations at the Swedish Embassy were the Nordic Steering Group led by Jan Sohlberg of Norway and Commissioner General Pertti Huitu gave and overview of the present status of the project and strongly urged the companies to take advantage of this unique opportunity to promote their business in Japan. Although there are naturally still hundreds of open and unsolved issues, the general feeling of the meeting was that there's an optimism prevailing for the project, not only within the organizers but also among many of the companies that attended. Although the FCCJ is not directly involved in the project, you could naturally always contact me for advice on how to proceed if you have an interest in the Nordic Participation at the EXPO.

FCCJ June Luncheon Meeting

At our June luncheon we will have a timely presentation related to the enlargement of the European Union. Our guest speaker then is Argo Kangro, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of Estonia.

The theme of his presentation will be: Estonia in the expanded EU and it's cooperation with Nordic countries - Opportunities for Japan

Date & Time:Wednesday, 23 June, 12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, Take Room, B2F [MAP]
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Monday 21 June

  Argo Kangro was born in 1974 and earned a B.A. degree in Law from the Nord Academy of Tallinn in 1997. After working in the insurance business he entered the Estonian School of Diplomacy in 1998 and joined the Foreign Service in 1999. Mr. Kangro held positions at Press and Information Department and Political Department, 6th Division (Asia, Africa, Latin America, Australia and the Pacific), were he was Acting Director before taking up his position in Tokyo in August 2002.

If you would like to register, click link at right.
Report from the Joint Nordic Business Luncheon organized by SCCJ
Tommy Kullberg, IKEA: The Screws are missing!

Tommy Kullberg, President of IKEA Japan and also Chairman of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Japan made a very interesting and entertaining presentation at the joint Nordic luncheon at the International House of Japan, attended by 82 participants from the Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian Chambers.

The decision by IKEA to enter the Japanese market was made in June 2001, and the preparations for opening the first two stores (in Chiba and Kanagawa) in Autumn 2005 are proceeding well. Mr. Kullberg explained extensively on the background for the decisions and strategies for their entry into the Japanese market, and why the company this time (IKEA established a joint-venture/franchise in Japan in 1974 but pulled out in 1986) is much better prepared and equipped to do it successfully.

For more about the meeting, click link at right.
FCCJ Member Survey - reminder

The FCCJ Member Survey, launched on 4 June and will be closed tomorrow Friday, has already got over 40 responses which should help the Board to get a better understanding regarding the needs and desires of FCCJ members. But naturally additional responses are welcome to provide an even broader base for the

There are two separate forms, one for the head of, or main contact person at the member company and another, more simple form for other staff members. FCCJ events and activities are not restricted to only one person from corporate member companies, but any staff member could participate.

From among those who responded to the survey by the deadline, we will draw a winner for a pair of tickets for the Scandinavian Xmas Party in December (value 30,000 yen).

If you are a member (or your company is a member) and you have not yet responded to the survey and have not received (or lost) the survey invitation, click link at right and we mail you the link.
JMEC - Japan Market Entry Competition
The Japan Market Entry Competition, now in its 11th year, is a well-established training program for individuals living in Japan. The program is centered on a competition to write the best business plan for client companies. It matches the desire of individuals to learn about doing business in Japan with the needs of foreign companies operating in the Japanese market.

JMEC is sponsored by the FCCJ in partnership with ten other foreign chambers of commerce in Japan. JMEC is also supported by the Delegation of the European Commission in Japan.
JMEC organizes several information evenings for participants, the first two are held on Wed. 30 June and Wed. 14 July at 19:00 at the German Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Japan. Two additonal will be held on Wed. 8 and Thu. 16 September (venue not yet decided).

For further information, click link at right.
News from Finland

Centre, right victorious in Finnish EU ballot

The Centre Party and the Conservative Party emerged victorious in the Sunday elections to the European Parliament in Finland. Both got four seats in the Parliament. This time, Finland is allocated with 14 seats in the legislature.
The centrists gathered a larger vote tally than in the 1999 elections and the conservatives did less well.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) retained its three seats despite gaining support since the last EU elections. Also the Swedish People's Party (SPP) can be counted among the winners. It was widely forecast to lose its seat, but held fast to it. The Greens lost one of their slots. The Left Alliance kept its seat.

In 1999, a total of 16 Members of European Parliament were elected from Finland, but after EU enlargement, only 14.

Anneli Jäätteenmauml;ki, Kyösti Virrankoski, Paavo Väyrynen ja Hannu Takkula got in from the Centre Party. Alexander Stubb, Ville Itälä, Piia-Noora Kauppi ja Eija Riitta Korhola are Conservative Party MEPs and Reino Paasilinna, Riitta Myller ja Lasse Lehtinen the SDP ones.

Esko Seppänen carries on as Left Alliance MEP. Satu Hassi from the Green Party and Henrik Lax from the SPP got through to the Euro-parliament.
Grin of the week

Not so true story...or a customer care initiative?

At Helsinki-Vantaa airport I settled down to wait for the boarding announcement for the flight to Narita at Gate 33. Then I heard the voice on the public address system saying, "We apologize for the inconvenience, but Finnair flight AY073 will board from Gate 19."

So I picked up my luggage and carried it over to Gate 19. Not ten minutes later the public address voice told us that flight AY073 would in fact be boarding from Gate 33.

So, again, I gathered my carry-on luggage and returned to the original gate. Just as I arrived at the gate, the public address voice spoke again:
"Thank you for participating in Finnair's physical fitness program."

Actually there was also another reason for writing this on Thursday. I am out of office tomorrow Friday so if you register for the luncheon or send some other mail, I will respond as soon as I am back Friday night.

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.