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  ISSUE 25/2017 17 August 2017 
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Strange weather in Tokyo... Like the rainy season came back. Rather cool and wet for two weeks and expected to continue until Sunday. I have spent 30 summers in Japan, but never this cool and rainy. But assume that there is still time for some really hot weather.

We have less than 10 seats left at the Yakatabune event - "Finnair AY4159 - Finn Tour FT4120 Code Share Cruise" - on Friday, 25 August. If you plan to participate and have not signed up yet, please do so at latest tomorrow. More information below.

Towards the end of his summer break in Karuizawa, our "Aoyama View" columnist has made a new contribution. This time the column is titled "Raining cats and dogs, missiles and threats, but strong sunshine in economy".
Click banner at right to find out more!

Friday, 25 August - FCCJ Yakatabune Event
Finnair AY4159 - Finn Tour FT4120 Code Share Cruise

Based on the success of last seven year's cruises we have again decided to start off the FCCJ Autumn season in style and with some great fun, please join us for the Finnair AY4159 - Finn Tour FT4120 Code Share Yakatabune Cruise on Friday, 25 August. Thanks to our sponsors, the participation fee for members and their guests is substantially subsidized.

We have chartered our own Yakatabune boat. It starts at Asakusa touring down Sumida River to Odaiba and back in 2.5 hours. During the cruise you could enjoy a great Japanese tempura-sashimi dinner and drinks in the "all-you-can-eat & drink" style. For images from last year's event, click here.

Date & Time:Friday, 25 August, 18.30-21:00
Embarkation:Funayado Miuraya, 1-1-10, Asakusabashi, Taito-ku , Tokyo
Cost:9,000 yen for members, non-members 12,000 yen
Registration:by Friday, 18 August

We expect the event to be sold out this year as well, so please sign up soon to secure your seats!
For more information and registration form for the event, click links at right.
Until Sunday 27 August - Finnish Institute and Kalevala Society Exhibition
Universal Nature - Rediscovery of Kalevala by Six Contemporary Japanese Artists -

The Universal Nature - Rediscovery of Kalevala by six Contemporary Japanese Artists exhibition presents the Finnish national epic Kalevala in a new way: from the Japanese point of view and in the form of contemporary art by six renowed Japanese artists. Their work will be on show for the first time, representing the artists individual interpretations of Finnish folklore and the Finnish mentality.

The artists tell the story of Kalevala through many different art forms and genres. The exhibition brings together painting, photography, sculpting, video and installation art. The artists work reflect both Finnish mysticism and the Japanese way of thinking.

The exhibition is part of the Artist's Kalevala in Japan project, started by The Kalevala Society and The Finnish Institute in Japan in 2016. The exhibition on view at Sezon Art Gallery is curated by Kenji Kubota. The aim is to broaden the way we interpret mythology and folklore, and to promote mutual cultural understanding and artistic co-operation between Finland and Japan. The Universal Nature exhibition will be on display at SEZON gallery in Jingumae until the 27th of August.
The exhibition is FREE.

For more information click links at right. If you have any inquiries, please contact Ms. Kati Laakso, Head of Culture and Communications at The Finnish Institute in Japan.
Abe Shokai starts distribution of Nokian Tyres in Japan

FCCJ Corporate Member Abe Shokai has announced that it started import and distribution of Nokian Tyres in Japan from 1 August.

Nokian tyres is globally known as an inventor of winter tyre in 1934, and its reputation about its winter tyres are particularly high especially in Northern Europe. Abe Shokai sells two items out of Nokian winter tyre line up, Hakkapeliitta R2 and Hakkapeliitta R2 SUV which are non-studded tyre.

Further information is available
Official website:

News from Finland

Competitiveness boost

Business daily Kauppalehti has happy news for the government: Finland's unit labour costs are dropping steeply. That is thanks in large part to Finland's competitiveness pact (Finnish acronym: Kiky), which cut pay and extended working hours for most employees in the Finnish economy.

It was a tough sell, with Finland's tripartite wage bargaining system of unions, employers and government tested almost to breaking point. Now the results are in and, if the goal is to narrow the gap between Finland and similar EU countries in labour costs, the pact has worked.

KL reports that German unit labour costs are forecast to rise by 1.8 percent between 2016 and 2018, while in Finland they will drop by 0.3 percent. The government hopes that will make Finnish exports cheaper and help boost the economy.

KL does remind readers, however, that competitiveness is to some extent in the eye of the beholder. Unions and some economists criticised the pact as it focused on labour costs rather than productivity or management and sales competence which are--according to professor Pertti Haaparanta at least--particularly weak in Finland.
Grin of the Week

Nutrition and Health

For those of you who watch what you eat... Here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies.
  1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
  2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
  3. The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
  4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
  5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.
Best regards

Clas G. Bystedt
If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
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This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 700 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 64 corporate members, 12 individual and one special member.