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  ISSUE 4/201919 February 2019 
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä is leading a Team Finland visit to Japan on 17-20 February to promote exports and internationalization. He is accompanied by a business delegation consisting of 19 representatives.

Minister Lintilä has a very tight schedule with high level ministerial and company meetings, two business seminars, visit to Metsä Village in Hanno and attending the press event announcing the Finland Pavilion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Before the press meeting the minister and his official delegation also had a meeting with FCCJ Finnish member companies, pictured right.

Our next event is the Pre-Opening Tour to the Moomin Valley Park in Hanno, Saitama pref. on Thursday, 7 March. Join us for a preview of the full Moomin theme park to be officially opened on 16 March. Read more below!

In March we also have two other events, the Stora Enso Cup on Friday, 15 March, followed soon thereafter on Monday, 18 March with another "sporting event", the Team Building Bowling Competition. This event is organized by the Swedish chamber but traditionally we have had a few FCCJ teams too. Read more about these two below!

April is going to be a busy month with four events already confirmed, starting with the Annual General Assembly on Tuesday, 2 April and followed by a Breakfast Meeting with the new Finnair CEO Topi Manner on Wednesday, 10 April. More about these as well as the other April events in coming bulletins.

We have a new contribution this week our "Aoyama View" columnist, this titled: "Europe attracts, Brexit bites - consumers rule Japan".

Click banner at right for interesting views and opinions on a wide variety of issues - from cherry blossom to Kim and Trump, but not in the same context!

Thursday, 7 March 2019 - FCCJ Special Event

FCCJ organizes, in cooperation with the other Nordic Chambers, a Pre-Opening Tour to Moomin Valley Park in Hanno, Saitama prefecture on Thursday, 7 March. Moomin Valley Park, to be opened on Saturday, 16 March, is the second phase of the Metsä Project. The first phase, Metsä Village opened on 10 November 2018.

Date & Time:Thursday, 7 March , 14:30-20.30
Official program starts 15:15 at Hanno station.
Place: Moomin Valley Park, Miyazawa-ko, Hanno, Saitama pref. [MAP]
Cost:Members 6,000 yen, others 9,000 yen
(collected at the venue unless otherwise agreed)
Incl. bus from Hanno station, dinner with free drinks, train at own expense
Registration:by Friday, 1 March

For the full program and to sign up, click links at right!
Friday, 15 March - Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge
Stora Enso Cup - Spring 2019

The 34th Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge - the team competition between the SCCJ and FCCJ members - the Stora Enso Cup, is played on Friday, 15 March for a trophy donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K..

The venue is Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West, in Shizuoka prefecture, which has been the venue for the event seven times in the past. First tee-off is at 9:30 and the cost is 18,090 yen, all included (play fee, caddie, lunch and party after play).

Please click link at right for more information and to sign up.
Monday, 18 March - Joint Nordic Event organized by SCCJ
Team Building Bowling Competition
It's time to bond up with your colleagues and friends for fun
We have found a new venue with everything we need under one roof.

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:Monday, 18 March, 19:00 - 22:30
Venue: Sasazuka Bowl
1-57-10 Sasazuka, Shibuya-ku Tel: 03-5421-7875 [MAP]
Cost:7,000 yen/person (2 games play, food & drinks included)
Registration:by Friday, 8 March

Note: For the awards ceremony, your prize contribution will be much appreciated! (4 prizes / team). It could be your company's novelties or anything. Just something simple.
New Nordic-inspired characters launched to charm Japanese consumers

Kotana Oy, a Finnish strategic consulting and design agency, together with Japanese graphical designer Shuko Ikemura has published a cartoon-like character that represents Nordic mindset and lifestyle with a certain mystical twist. The character is called as "Okko-kun" and its primary target audience are Japanese consumers who are interested in the Nordic way of living. The story of Okko-kun is communicated to Japanese consumers across various channels and social media platforms. Currently, the character is available at LINE Store and it has also Instagram account:

If you are interested in to hear more about the Okko-kun and unique advertising opportunities behind the character, just contact

Fintan - Embassy of Finland Character

Similarly, there are also stickers with Fintan, the character of Embassy of Finland in Japan created by Kenji Itoso. This approximately 7-year old boy has blond hair and blue eyes!

News from Finland

Union: Finnish worker toils 34 days to reach boss' one-day pay

The average worker in Finland has toiled from the beginning of the year until February 18 to earn the daily pay of a CEO of a publicly listed company.

The STTK labour union has highlighted a growing pay gap between executives and average workers in Finland. CEO pay in Finland outpaces the average worker's by a factor of 34, reports STTK, a labour market organisation representing around half a million residents.

The study found that in 2017 it took the average employee 34 days to earn as much as an executive does in a day, up from 33 days in 2016. In 2017, annual earnings for private sector employees averaged 40,250 euros.

STTK said it was important that pay ratios between senior management and staff don't spiral out of control.

"Economic research has indicated that relatively small income discrepancies positively impact welfare and economic growth," STTK economist Antti Koskela said in a statement.

STTK's drew its calculations from Statistics Finland and listed companies' annual reports. The union was inspired by Fat Cat Day in the UK, which takes a critical view of pay packets handed to big executives in relation to what they pay their employees.
Grin of the Week

Not indispensable?

Judge: Is there any reason you could not serve as a juror in this case?

Juror: I don't want to be away from my job that long.

Judge: Can't they do without you at work?

Juror: Yes, but I don't want them to know it.
Best regards

Clas G. Bystedt
If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
send it to:

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 62 corporate members, 19 individual and two special members.