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  ISSUE 29

18 December, 2001  


Busy writing those last minute Christmas cards and reading all those you received?

As this week probably is the last working week this year, at least for many expats, your are probably busy with many other things as well, so try to be short, no jokes this week.....

January Luncheon Meeting
The January Luncheon meeting will be held at Capitol Tokyu Hotel Silver Room on Thursday, 17 January, 2002 at 13.00 (NOTE TIME)
On this occasion Mr. Robert A. Feldman, Chief Economist and Managing Director at Morgan Stanley Japan Limited will give his views on the present economic situation in the world and Japan.
As part of Morgan Stanley's global economics team, Mr. Feldman is responsible for forecasting the Japanese economy and interest rates, and he participates in formation of the foreign exchange and equity strategies of the firm.
In addition to numerous exposure to the various Japanese media, he has published three books, Japanese Financial Markets: Deficits, Dilemmas, and Deregulation, Nihon no Suijaku ("The Weakening of Japan", in Japanese) and Nihon no Saiki ("Starting Over", in Japanese).

We will send out invitations before New Year, but if you would like to register already now, please click link at right.

Report from Christmas Luncheon Meeting
Our traditional Christmas Luncheon, held for the third time at the Embassy of Finland, was attended by 40 members and guests.
Apart from delicious Finnish style Christmas food we enjoyed good company and presentations from Ambassador Salovaara and new staff at the Embassy.
A special guest was Mr. Rauno Sirola, former FCCJ President who was in Tokyo on his way from Australia to Finland. To find out what he is up to now and for more images from the meeting, click link to the right.

New EBC Chairman Elected - Mr. Richard Collasse
Mr. Richard Collasse, President & Representative Director, Chanel K.K. and current president of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan has been elected Chairman of the European Business Community (EBC) in Japan. Mr. Collasse will assume the position on January 1, 2002 from current Chair Ms. Isabelle Hupperts. Mr. Collasse has lived in Japan for over 20 years and has contributed to the EBC for many years as a member of the EBC Cosmetics Committee, as Chairman of the EBC Cosmetics Committee and as a Member of the EBC Council. Mr. Collasse won the election with a resounding majority.

Congratulations Isabelle!
On Friday, December 14, 2001, Ms. Isabelle Hupperts, retiring Chairman of the EBC, was presented with the Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite (National Merit Order, Knighthood) from the French Government at the Embassy of France. H.E. Ambassador Maurice Gourdault-Montagne presented the prestigious award to Isabelle in recognition of her enormous contribution to the strengthening of relations between the EU and Japan.

News from Finland
Output down, exports soar
Industrial output continued downwards in October, falling short of the previous October's by more than 6 pct, Statistics Finland said, though it noted that October 2000 was particularly brisk.
The slump in timber and paper was particularly steep, with output down 12 % in October. Factories were running slack, SF said, at an average of 86 % capacity, compared with 90.5 % the year before. Metal and engineering firms were running at 91 % but chemical works were down to 81 %.
Customs officials said the trade surplus almost doubled in October from September, to FIM 10.4 billion, boosted by deliveries of more than FIM 3 billion worth of ships and oil rig parts.
Customs said that at FIM 28.3 billion this was the second highest monthly export figure ever.

FCCJ Office Closed 19 -26 December
I will be travelling to Finland tomorrow for a week so subsequently we are closed until 26 of December. I will be able (hopefully...) to read my email, so mail me if there is some urgent matter.
I haven't spent Christmas in Finland for 14 years, so it will be nice to enjoy the holiday there and have a traditional Finnish style Christmas sauna!

Finally, some thanks... to Finnair for finding seats in the plane at affordable prices and for Finnish Tourist Board for arranging a budget (not the company...) rent-a-car. Needed a car, because on Christmas day when I have to travel to Helsinki from Kokkola there is no domestic flights, and trains start running in the afternoon, to late to catch the Tokyo plane...

And last but not least;
A Merry Christmas!
..and if you are not around for my next bulletin, Happy New Year!

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 300 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.