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  ISSUE 28/2013 18 December 2013   
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

As the holiday season is closing in, this will be my last bulletin in 2013 and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members and other readers of my bulletin for all your support and good cooperation in 2013 and wish you:

Our first event in 2014 is a joint event with the Nordic Chambers - A Team Building Bowling Competition on Tuesday, 28 January. Read more below!

Towards the end of the year our seasoned columnist has made a new contribution in Aoyama View, this time titled "From Abenomics to Abeisms@– and Back Again? ".
Click banner at right for a good summary or the political climate inside and around Japan!

A Successful 21st Scandinavian Christmas Ball!

The social highlight of the year of the Nordic Chambers in Japan, The 21st Scandinavian Joint Christmas Ball was held on Friday, 13 December 2013 at our regular venue, The Westin Tokyo Hotel in Ebisu, where the party has been held also in 2005-2009 and 2011-2012 The party was attended by 257 members and guests from the five Nordic Chambers of Commerce in Japan.
The FCCJ had 74 participants.

The party started with greetings from the organizing committee, followed by Christmas songs by Emi Martin, a much appreciated jazz music performance by the "The Ballroom Swingers", a group led by our old friend and MC on the evening, Mats Bruzeaus, after which the real Santa paid a visit, assisting in the many lotteries.

The evening was ended off with a lot of dancing until midnight to the tunes of Brad and the Hitmen

For more about the ball, and a lot of images, click link at right!
Tuesday, 28 January - Joint Nordic Event organized by SCCJ
Team Building Bowling Competition

The Swedish Chamber (SCCJ) has kindly invited the other Nordic Chambers to one of their most popular annual events, the Team Building Bowling Competition held at Tokyo Port Bowl in Shibaura.

Professional Bowlers, beginners are equally most welcome! It is a team competition, each team consists of four player and each player play two games. Make your own team with your colleagues and business partners, spouses are very welcome!

Date & Time:Tuesday, 28 January, 19.00-21:00
Venue: Tokyo Port Bowl in Shibaura
1-13-10 Shibaura, Minato-ku (near JR Tamachi Station) [MAP]
Cost:5,500 yen/person (incl. 2 games play fee, party fee afterwards)
Registration:by Friday, 10 January

If you cannot make your own team you could also register individually and we will make a team for you.

Note: For award ceremony, your prize contribution will be much appreciated! (4 prizes a team)

Executive Training Programm (ETP) Japan - 2014-15 Cycle

The recruitment for the 2014-2015 cycle of the EU-funded Executive Training Programme in Japan and Korea (ETP) has started.

ETP is a unique opportunity for European managers and companies to expand their businesses activities in Japan and Korea through business and language training, an internship in a local company, and support for the development of their business plan. The EU funds the entire programme and provides a scholarship throughout for each participant. More specifically, the ETP Japan is a 45-week training programme for European executives.

The training consists of a 3-week intensive training course in the UK on the culture, history and civil society of Japan, a 30-week business and language training course run by Waseda University, and a 12-week internship in a Japanese company. The entire training course is funded by the European Commission. In addition, participants receive financial support of €2,200 per month.

For more information, click the link at right!

HRTP- Japan Industry Insight 50th Anniversary

As a key contact for informing companies from your region, the EU-Japan Centre is currently launching a call for applications for the 50th edition of the gHRTP-Japan Industry Insighth program. European companies willing to handle / handling business with Japan are usually lacking of knowledge about the Japanese business culture.

Since its first edition in 1987, nearly 600 companies have benefited from this programme for better approaching the Japanese market. Next session: from 12 May to 6 June 2014 (application deadline on 13 February 2014).

Open to all-sized companies, the next course will include: lectures on Japanese history, economy, politics and legal matters; joint seminars with Japanese business people (with role-play exercises about decision-making, team management and negotiation); Japanese language course, field trips and optional individual company visits.

The European Commission (DG Enterprises) grants participants from SME ("Small and Medium-sized Enterprises") up to EUR 3000 scholarship.

For more information, click the link at right!

News from Finland

Danske Bank: No post-recession bump for Finnish economy

One of the largest Nordic banking groups projects modest growth for Finland and Europe next year, with interest rates and home sales remaining low.

Danske Bank has lowered its prognosis for growth in Finlandfs economy next year. On Tuesday the Nordic banking group predicted that GDP will grow by a modest 1.1 percent, down from its previous estimate of 1.5 percent.

The bank's economists expect some recovery in exports while domestic demand remains nearly unchanged.

"There is no sign of the kind of rebound growth that we saw after the severe recession of the 1990s," says chief economist Pasi Kuoppamäki. He expects slow growth in the Finnish economy for several years after the downturn.

Sleepy real estate market
Kuoppamäki believes that household purchasing power will grow very slowly in the long term as inflation and tax increases are eating away at wage rises.

The dimming of the employment picture is also set to undermine buying power, he says. According to the Danske scenario, the housing market will remain sleepy. From a household-economy standpoint, the good news is that interest rates are low and indebtedness is "relatively moderate". Danske expects interest rates to remain low for a long time to come.

While Europefs economic growth remains fragile, Danske Bank says that the world economy will recover – led by growth in the United States.

Grin of the Week

The FAA Inspection

With the number of airline accidents lately, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) decided to send an inspector to Korvatunturi (Santa Claus' home) to check out Santa's sleigh before allowing him to fly on Christmas eve.

The inspector arrives and checks the reindeer and they look good, he checks the harness and it looks okay, he checks the sleigh and it is also okay. Then he says, "Santa, lets take it up for a check ride and if everything looks good I'll certify you to fly."

Santa hitches the reindeer up and taxis onto the runway and just as he's starting his takeoff roll he looks over and notices the inspector has a shotgun on his lap.
"Hey! Whats the shotgun for!?" Santa yells.

The inspector says, "Well, Santa, I'm really not supposed to tell you this, but there is going to be an engine failure on takeoff."
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 650 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.