If this bulletin does not open properly in your mail reader, open http://www.fcc.or.jp/email/1809.html in your browser. FCCJ E-mail bulletin: ISSUE 20 * SEPTEMBER 18, 2001

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  ISSUE 20

18 September, 2001  


Will the world ever be the same again? After the tragic events in the USA I think all of us have hundreds of questions and very few answers. How widely will the war, whicht seems to be inevitable, affect us? Could we ever feel safe again when travelling by air? How long will it take for the business world, which was facing recession even before these events, to recover?
I think the only thing we can do is try to go on as normally as possible and see what happens. And, when you travel, show patience and understanding for extended check-in times and tightened security.

September Luncheon Meeting
A last reminder for the September luncheon meeting which will be held on Friday 21 September at 12:00 at Capitol Tokyu Hotel.
Our guest speaker will then be Sami Hilvo, First Secretary (Press & Culture) at the Embassy of Finland.
Mr. Hilvo will give us an insight in a subject which should be of interest to all of us; "The Image of Finland in Japan".

Please note that we collect the participation fee of 7,000 yen at the door. To register, at latest by tomorrow Wednesday, click link to the right.

Olli-Pekka Heinonen at FCCJ November Luncheon
Finland's Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr. Olli-Pekka Heinonen will be our guest speaker at the November luncheon held on Friday 16 November at 12.00 in the Pearl Room at Capitol Tokyo Hotel.
Minister Heinonen is in Japan on an four day visit, and we will provide you with further details, including the theme of his speech, in due course. But please mark this date in yoru calendar already now.

Also note that our October meeting is held on Thursday 18 October, details about this in our next bulletin.

Reform in Japan: The EBC Perspective
Launch of the EBC Report on the Japanese Business Environment
The watchword of the new Koizumi government is 'reform'. But will the Koizumi reforms significantly change the business and investment environment for European companies operating in Japan?
Come to the launch of the EBC's Year 2001 report on the business and investment environment and hear what a panel of experts from the European Business Community in Japan (EBC) have to say about some of the reforms needed. Comments will also be made by His Excellency, Ambassador Ove Juul Jorgensen, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Japan, and Ms. Isabelle Hupperts, Chairperson of the EBC.

Venue:   Keidanren Kaikan, Diamond Room, 12th floor

  1-9-4 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
  Location map
Time:     12.00-2.00 p.m., Monday, October 22, 2001
Fee:       10,000 yen at the door.
  Includes lunch, one copy each of the English and Japanese reports.
Register by Monday, 8 October by clicking link below.

From other Organizations
NCCJ Afternoon Meeting: "Japanese 401K system and its impact on corporate Japan"
Like many other countries, Japan is implementing a Defined Contribution Pension System from 1 October. While this system is frequently referred to as the "Japanese 401K" there are many differences between this system and that of the U.S. 401K system.
The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan organizes an afternoon meeting were Mr. Greg Burrows, CEO of ING/Pricipal Pensions Inc. will review the key features of the Japanese system and how it will impact corporate pension plans in Japan.
Date: Wednesday, 26 September, 2001
Time: 16:30 - 18:30
Venue: Deshima Lounge, Royal Netherlands Embassy
Fee: 8,000 yen
F0r further information, call the NCCJ at 03-5404-3401, or email them by clicking link at right.

News from Finland
The cost of terror
As Finland tried to absorb the shock of the US terrorist attacks, financial experts sought to assess the effects on the economy. They are likely to be indirect. Finland is not seen as a prime terrorist target, though security precautions at offices, public buildings and airports will surely tighten. Nor is Finland a member of NATO, which could insulate it somewhat from terrorist attention. Yet it has already expressed solidarity with the US and will have to tighten its surveillance of suspects who have used Finland as a rest haven at least. Traditionally insular Finns are finding that the 'it could not happen here' mentality no longer applies. There are no sidelines anymore.

Business research body ETLA, however, said the attacks could cost Finland a fifth of next year's GDP growth if the aftermath leads to steep oil price rises, heavy cuts in US consumer spending and a stronger euro. As it is, ETLA lowered its GDP growth forecast for this year from a previous 2.5 % to 1.8 %. It dropped next year's outlook from 4.2 % to 2.5 %.

For more news, click link to the right.

Did You Know?
Finland's Export to Japan
Even if Finland's total export (to all countries) nowadays is dominated byt the ICT industry, which accounts for one third of our exports, in our trade with Japan the forest industry is still going strong. As you could see from the below chart, which shows the export from Finland to Japan in 2000, the forest industry sector (the four greenish segments to the right), makes up 55 % of our exports to Japan.

Actually Finland's total export had a similar composition in the early 1970's. So, again, there's still a lot for us to do to make this pie more diversified and strenghthen our positions in new areas, and not mainly rely on our "wooden leg".

Hope to see many of you at our meeting on Friday, until then,

Best regards

Clas G. Bystedt

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This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 280 persons 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 74 corporate members.