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  ISSUE 14/2003

20 June, 2003  


The big news in Finland is that our first female prime minister lasted only for 63 days. Anneli Jäätteenmäki resigned on Wednesday, not because of expected bad Midsummer weather (Midsummer is important for the Finns...), but because of the "Irakgate" controversy. Please read more in the News from Finland section.

Report from June Luncheon Meeting

Ryu Koriyama

At our June luncheon meeting held on Tuesday 17th we had an interesting and engaging speaker, Mr. Ryu Koriyama, the founder, CEO & Chairman of Aplix Corporation. Even if the the theme of his presentation: "T-Engine Will Achieve a Ubiquitous Society" sounded very technical, he managed to explain in a way that made at least most of the audience understand what it is all about. His also gave us some interesting insight in the dealings with large IT corporations like Microsoft and Sun.

Mr. Koriyama, one of only five (another being Nobel Prize winner Koichi Tanaka) recipients of the 2002 Nikkei BP Innovator Award, has been described by Nikkei BP as "a pioneer in Japan to have explored into the age of the ubiquitous computer. He has created an opportunity for the Japanese computer industry to make a leap forward."

T-Engine Project, designed by Prof. Ken Sakamura of the University of Tokyo, pursues to develop an open, real-time operating system in order to achieve Ubiquitous Computing. T-Engine is becoming the hottest topic in Japan among all state-of-the-art technology players in the IT and software fields.

For more about the meeting, T-Engine and Aplix,
Economist Corporate Network M&A Conference:
"Catalysts for Change - Corporate Restructuring" "

Economist Corporate Network - Japan with the support of Morgan Stanley and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are pleased to invite you as our guest to what will be the seventh in our series of conferences on M&A in Japan.

M&A has something of a chequered history in Japan, yet participants are now able to point to levels of complexity and size of deals which bear comparison with other parts of the world. Further increase is predicted in activity as corporate restructuring continues apace. In this regard much is expected of the new Industrial Revitalisation Corporation of Japan - this will be a chance to hear the views of a leading IRCJ official on its future role. To complete the programme we will hear the experience of GE, one of the companies most active in recent years in the M&A market in Japan.

A panel of expert practitioners will address these issues with chances for attendees to engage in active dialogue. This conference will be conducted in English.

Conference details:
Date & Time:Wednesday June 25, 14.00-18.20 followed by a reception
Place: Tokyo American Club, 4th Fl.

For more details and registration, click link at right.
Joint Nippon Keidanren/European Commission symposium :
"EU enlargement: implications for Japan's trade and investment in Europe"

The Accession Treaty signed in Athens on April 16, 2003 has paved the way for ten new countries to join the EU from 1 May 2004. This historic enlargement will bring major benefits for Europe, not only in terms of enhanced political stability, but also economically, through the creation of a larger single market and a reinforced growth dynamic in the newly acceding countries. With a population of almost 455 million and a GDP of around 9300 billion euro, the enlarged EU will account for some 20% of world trade.

This symposium will focus on the details of trade and investment arrangements as the acceding countries make the transition to full EU membership, and assess the practical implications for Japanese business interests.

Symposium details:
Date & Time:Monday 30 June, 18.30-20.30
Place: Keidanren Kaikan,11 Fl Golden Room

For details and program, please click link at right.
Need to strengthen your workforce?

An experienced Finnish business professional with several years of experince in different countries and in different management and sales&marketing positions with English and Japanese language skills is looking for a challenging new position in Tokyo starting any time over the next six to eight months.

If you are interested in further information, please mail me by clicking link at right.
News from Finland

Prime Minister Jäätteenmäki submits the resignation of the Government

Prime Minister Anneli Jäätteenmäki submitted the resignation of the Government to the President of the Republic, Tarja Halonen, on Wednesday at Kultaranta, the summer residence of the President of the Republic in Naantali.

Jäätteenmäki said she resigned as it had become unbearable for her to carry out her duties as PM of the current government after the latest revelations in the so-called "Iraqgate". Jäätteenmäki made the announcement after presidential aide Martti Manninen, currently released from duty, told the Finnish News Agency (STT) that Jäätteenmäki (Centre) herself had asked him for information related to her predecessor Paavo Lipponen's (SDP) discussions of Finnish policy on Iraq with U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington last December.

The Minister deputising for the Prime Minister, Antti Kalliomäki, will represent Finland at the Thessaloniki European Council. The Centre is expected to present a replacement for Jäätteenmäki next Tuesday.
Point of View


Our own "Chief Economist", FCCJ President Timo Varhama has again produced an interesting article about his view on the Japanese society and economy, which is found on our web site.
This time it is titled: The Views of a Finnish Paper Salesman in Tokyo" and consists of excerpts from a presentation he held at the Finnish-Japanse Chamber of Commerce in Helsinki on 19 May 2003.
Click link at right and enjoy!
Grin of the week


At Heathrow Airport today, an individual, later discovered to be a public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a compass, a protractor and a graphical calculator.
Authorities believe he is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement.
He is being charged with carrying weapons of math instruction.

That's all for now. Hope you have a nice Midsummer, rain or shine - either you are in Japan and need some cold drinks to keep you cool, or in Finland, were you propably need some strong drinks to keep you warm.

The closest you could get to a Finnish Midsummer party in Japan is by visiting Finland Village in Koumi-machi, Nagano prefecture on Saturday. There we are going to have a big bonfire ("kokko"), good music, food and drinks with almost 200 people participating. I give a report on that in my next issue. Until then...

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.