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  ISSUE 7/2014 20 March 2014  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Ahead of the extended weekend (tomorrow Friday is a public holiday in Japan, the Vernal Equinox - Spring Solstice - Day) a couple of reminders about our coming events, the Annual General Assembly on Tuesday, 1 April and the Stora Enso Cup on Friday, 11 April. More below!

Also in our April calendar is a Joint European Chamber Networking event with the new EBC Chairman Danny Risberg on Wed. 23 April at 19:00. More about this in my next bulletin.

Our columnist, shuttling between Karuizawa and Tokyo, has this week provided a new piece in "Aoyama View", which this time dwells deep into Ukraine crisis, motivations behind it and wide global consequences, that reach all the way to Japan.
Click banner at right for another great read!

Tuesday, 1 April - Members Only
FCCJ Annual General Assembly

The 15th Ordinary Annual General Assembly of FCCJ will be held at the

Embassy of Finland on

Tuesday, 1 April, 2013 at 17.00

Registration dead-line: Thursday, 27 March

The Assembly will handle matters according to Article 10 in the Articles of Association of the FCCJ.

Dinner at 18:00
After the Assembly we will have a Buffet dinner hosted by Ambassador Manu Virtamo.

This is a member only event and he dinner is free for one representative/member. If space available, additional representatives from member companies can be accepted, but will charged 7,000 yen per person.

If you would like to attend, please click link at right. To check who have signed up, click here.

Friday, 11 April - Stora Enso Cup
Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge - Spring 2014

The 22nd Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge - the Stora Enso Cup - is played on Friday, 11 April for a trophy donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K..
At the same time we also play the FCCJ Cup for FCCJ members and the SCCJ Spring Cup for SCCJ members.

The venue this time is Golf Club Narita Hightree, in Chiba prefecture. First tee-off is at 9:12 and the cost is 16,500 yen, all included (play fee, caddie, lunch and party after play).

For a flyer of the event, which also includes the access map and registration form, click link below.

13 - 16 May 2014 in Helsinki and St. Petersburg
Japan-Finland Business Forum 2014
– Finland as a centre of Europe and gateway to Russia –

Team Finland, the Embassy of Japan in Finland and JETRO St. Petersburg are organizing the Japan-Finland Business Forum 2014.

The booming Russian market, as well as the dynamic Northern Europe region, offers great potential for Japanese companies and investors. Finland, with the European Union's longest border with Russia, is located perfectly in this region. With long experience of doing business with Russia – particularly the north-western part of the country, including St. Petersburg – and having valuable insight, knowledge and knowhow, Finland can serve as a "gateway" or a "partner" for Japanese companies planning to enter this growing market.

This business forum will include a business seminar in Helsinki and a fact-finding mission in St. Petersburg. In addition, you will have a chance to get in touch with and build networks with Finnish and Russian companies and regional entities who have interest in future cooperation with Japanese companies.

Click links at right for more information and the registration form.

Finn Looking for Internship

Mr. Markus Valkiala, a 3rd year International Business Student from Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences is at the moment doing his exchange period at Chiba University. After his exchange he needs to do internship in a international context, and would personally like to do it in Japan.

Mr. Valkiala speaks Finnish, English and some Japanese. He also need to do his graduation thesis in co-operation with the internship place. He is thinking of making it about Finnish/Japanese co-operation, what things must be taken in consideration culturally and so on.

If you are interested to now more, contact Marcus Valkiala directly. A link to his CV is below.
News from Finland

Unions and employers offer state budget proposals

Finlandfs long-running debate over balancing the state budget took a step forward on Tuesday, when the blue collar trade union confederation SAK and the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK laid out their ideas. Tax rises were the main bone of contention between the two sides.

Finnish politicians have been at loggerheads for months over whether and how to balance government spending and income. Most recently the government parties decided to extend the planned balancing into the next parliament and invited opposition politicians to all-party talks on the matter.

Next week the government meets to thrash out a budget for the rest of this parliamentary term, and the labour market organisations had their say on the issue on Tuesday.

SAK wants to see a mix of tax rises and spending cuts—but would leave income tax and value-added tax unchanged. According to the blue collar trade union confederationfs chair, Lauri Lyly, they would prefer to see property, land and forest taxes tightened, and to clarify corporation tax rules applied to listed and unlisted companies.

EK, on the other hand, wants to see spending cut and taxes left untouched, as even a rise in VAT—mooted as a solution by some on the political right—might hurt demand in a delicate economic situation.

Neither organisation took a clear stand on precisely which areas of government spending should be cut, saying those decisions should be left to the politicians.

gThere are certain things, maybe some business support or those kinds of things,h said Lyly. gMaybe municipalitiesf operations, they could look for savings there.h

EK was a bit more forthcoming, hinting that big line items—including social and healthcare spending—should bear the brunt.

Grin of the Week

The truth about men...

Men are like fine wine.
They all start out like grapes, and it's a woman's job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you'd want to have dinner with.
Have a good long weekend &
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 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.