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  ISSUE 25/2003

18 December, 2003  


The year 2003 is rapidly coming to a close and you must be busy preparing for the holiday season. And many of my friends and colleagues in Japan are just about to leave for a well deserved vacation. But if you have time, read on. In case you quit reading here, have a happy holiday season!

Report from Christmas Luncheon Meeting
Ambassador Eero Salovaara gives welcome remarks

The traditional FCCJ Christmas Luncheon, attended by 44 members and guest, was held for the fifth time at the Embassy of Finland.

After a brief update on recent developments in the Japan-Finland relations by Ambassador Eero Salovaara, most part of the meeting was spent on discussing the joint Nordic participation at the EXPO 2005 AICHI and the themes that the Nordic pavilion should be centered around.

Before the luncheon the FCCJ Board of Trustees met and welcomed two new members to the board, Mr. Norimasa Hasegawa, former Ambasador of Japan to Finland and Mr. Kanji Ohashi, President, Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Mori Hospitality Corporation.

For more images from the luncheon, click link at right.
Report from the 11th Joint Scandinavian Christmas Party

Dancing almost all night long..
11th Scandinavian Joint Christmas Party was on Friday, 12 December at the Royal Park Hotel in Hakozaki, Tokyo.

471 guests from SCCJ (Sweden), DCCJ (Denmark), FCCJ (Finland), NCCJ (Norway) and ICCJ (Iceland) enjoyed a fantastic evening together with delicious food and wine (plus some other drinks...), a Flamenco show and ending off the night to a lot of dancing with Hitmen. The Icelandic Chamber participated for the first time.

A "close to real" Santa Claus also made a brief visit to the party, riding in on a bike as reindeers where not admitted to the ballroom.

To find out more about the party, including many pictures, please click the web site link below.
Note that we also have a participants' survey on the site.
Winners of the Japan 2003 Rally
Rally Japan 2004

This sounds interesting for every Finn, but are our pockets deep enough...?

For the first time, one of the races in the FIA World Rally Championship will be held in Japan next year. The event is scheduled for September 3-5, 2004 in Hokkaido (selected because of the availability of roads).

The main sponsor and organizer of the event is the Mainichi Newspaper Group with the support and assistance of METI and they expect large-scale domestic and worldwide media coverage. The race will be extensively telecast via Channel 12 in Japan.

The Mainichi Newspaper Group and METI have approached the EBC in a bid to find sponsors for the rally, in particular, for a sponsor whose name would be included in the title of the event. As this event will be very well covered in Japan, it seems to be a good PR opportunity for European firms and apparently good visibility will be provided. Any company interested in sponsoring this event, particularly as the main name sponsor, can contact the following person for further information:
Mr. Yasuhiko Tezuka, The Mainichi Newspapers
Tel: 3212-1406; Fax: 5208-4946: e-mail: yasuhiko.tezuka@mbx.mainichi.co.jp

News from Finland

Industrial producer prices decreased in November

The industrial producer prices have decreased 1.6 per cent in November from a year earlier, Statistics Finland (SF) reported on Wednesday. According to SF cheaper electronics and electrotechnical products decreased producer prices. The prices of paper and paper products as well as timber goods have also dropped. The rising price of electricity has held down the decrese of the index.

Producer indexes measure prices from the perspective of companies. The export prices were in November 3.3 per cent down from a year earlier. The prices of electronics decreased 6.4 per cent, paper and cardboard products 12.6 per cent and timber goods 4.7 per cent.
Grin of the week

How to avoid exposure

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. After a few seconds of arguing over which one should go and answer the doorbell, the wife gives up, quickly wraps herself up in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, their next-door neighbor. Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 if you drop that towel you have on." After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob.

After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves. Confused, but excited about her good fortune, the woman wraps back up in the towel and goes upstairs.

When she gets back to the bathroom, her husband asks from the shower, "Who was that?"
"It was Bob from next door," she replies.
"Great," the husband says, "did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"

Corporate Lesson:
If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk in time with your stakeholders, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

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 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.