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  ISSUE 20/2007 22 October, 2007  

Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

The social highlight of the year for the Nordic Chambers in Japan is approaching. The 15th Scandinavian Christmas Party is held on Friday 7 December at The Westin Tokyo in Ebisu.
We are now recruiting sponsors for the event, registrations will start on Monday 5 November.
Read more below.

Before the Christmas Party we will have a luncheon meeting on Tuesday 20 November, where we will have an engaging guest speaker, Mr. Andrew Silberman, President & Chief Enthusiast of the Advanced Management Training Group. The theme of his presentation is: "12 Non-Cash Ways to Motivate Your People". More about that in my next bulletin.

Also, the 12th edition of the Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey is ongoing. The survey has become a widely accepted bi-annual barometer for the sentiments of foreign business leaders in Japan, their views on the Japanese economy, and their views on their own business performance. If you represent a Finnish affiliated company in Japan and have not yet responded, click HERE to participate. It would only take a couple of minutes to complete. The deadline for your input to be included in the results is Friday, 26 October.

I will report about the survey results in my next bulletin.

Mr. Haruyuki Niimi, Chairman of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K..
Thursday 25 October - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting

At our luncheon meeting on Thursday 25 October, we will have a prominent guest speaker, Mr. Haruyuki Niimi, Chairman of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.. The theme of his presentation is: "How foreign-affiliated companies should be in the Japanese market"
Generally speaking, foreign-affiliated firms are perceived by Japanese to be smarter, more profit-oriented and more drastic than Japanese firms. This is sometimes advantageous but other times not. When it comes to the relationship with the Japanese business partners, they tend to put a greater importance on stable, long-term, trustful relations than the Western firms do. A foreign-affiliated company in Japan would need to pay special attention to this if it may want to succeed in this market.

Showa Shell's 50% of equity is held by foreign major shareholders, Shell and Saudi, and therefore is recognised as foreign-affiliated. Knowing this fact and the difficulties that foreign firms would have to face in this country, the Company has adopted a so-called "hybrid management" with which it allows itself to take advantage both of the Western style management and of the Japanese style management. But until the Company came to the point when it decided to take this way, it had passed through uneasy journey.

Date & Time:Thursday 25 October, 12.00-14.00
Venue: Hotel Okura, Main Bldg. 2F, Clifford Room MAP
Cost:7,000 yen for members, non-members 8,000 yen
(collected at the door)
Registration:by Tuesday 23 October

Profile of Mr. Niimi
Born on 5th April, 1936 and graduated with a BA in Economics from University of Washington. Joined Shell Sekiyu K.K. in 1960 and held several positions there until he became Managing Director of the newly merged Showa Shell Sekiyu in 1985. He became Vice President of the company in 1993 and Chairman in 1995. In 2002 he was Chairman & CEO and in 2005 Chairman & President and since 2006 holds the position of Chairman.

About Showa Shell Sekiyu
Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. was founded on January 1, 1985 by the amalgamation of Showa Oil Co., Ltd. which was established on August 1, 1942 (the continuing company) and Shell Sekiyu K.K. which was incorporated on April 11, 1900 (the absorbed company).

Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. is involved in the sales of gasoline, kerosine, gas oil, fuel oil, marine bunkers, lubricants, bitumen, LP gas, and other petroleum products.

If you would like attend and have not yet registered, please click link at right.
Thursday 18 October - ACCJ Nomu-nication
Report from the Nordic Night at the Swedish Embassy

The American Chamber of Commerce (ACCJ) held its Nomu-nication networking event under the theme "Nordic Night" on Thursday 18 October at the Swedish Embassy, inviting also members from the five Nordic chambers.

The event had about 150 participants, 100 from the ACCJ and 50 from the Nordic chambers, including 13 from FCCJ..

Cafe Daisy had prepared a delicious Nordic style buffet table and Suntory provided Carlsberg beer, which were thoroughly enjoyed by the participants.
For more images from the party, please click link at right.
Fri. 7 December
The 15th Scandinavian Christmas Party

The social highlight of the year of the Nordic Chambers in Japan, the Scandinavian Christmas Party, is this year held on Friday, 7 December, at the same venue as last year, The Westin Tokyo.
The committee has been working hard on a new and exciting program for this year's party. Together with the staff at The Westin Tokyo, the committee is confident that all participating chamber members, and their guests, will experience a party better than ever before!

We open registration for the party on Monday 5 November.

Currently, we are recruiting sponsors for the party. Without the continuous support from a large number of companies and organizations, we could not have made this event as enjoyable as it has been throughout the years.

If you sign-up as a sponsor now (click link below for online sign-up), before we open registration and announce the site to all chamber members, you will get most benefit of your contribution.
Wednesday 21 November - EBC White Paper Launch
Economic Integration - A New Approach to Reform:
The EBC Report on the Japanese Business Environment - 2007

The wide-ranging reform programme of Prime Minister Koizumi was followed by further decisive action under his successor, Mr Abe. It is unfortunate that recent political turmoil has put these and other essential reforms on hold. The approach taken to regulation by the new Fukuda Government will influence whether or not Japan is seen as an attractive place to do business, boosting the prospects of local firms and drawing in new capital and investment from the EU. The EBC argues that to deal with persistent structural barriers, constant red tape and competitive pressure, a new approach is needed - an approach that will lead the EU and Japan towards integration of their respective rules and regulations, offering the prospect of greatly increased market access and mutual trade, while respecting shared concerns for economic, social and environmental "balance". The EBC has expressed this new approach in terms of an Economic Integration Agreement (EIA) and in this report identified issues we believe should be addressed within such an accord.

The launch of the European Business Council's white paper, Economic Integration: A New Approach to Reform: The EBC Report on the Japanese Business Environment 2007, will be held as below:

Date & Time:Wednesday, 21 November , 12.00-14.00
Venue: The Westin Tokyo, Galaxy Ballroom, B2F MAP
Cost: 10,000 yen (collected at the door)
Fee includes lunch, one copy of each of the English and Japanese reports
Registration: Friday, 16 November

Come and hear what EBC experts have to say about progress made by the Japanese government so far, what remains to be done, and how an EU-Japan EIA would help to achieve a sea change in the business environment. Comments will also be made by His Excellency, Ambassador Hugh Richardson, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Japan, Mr. Richard Collasse, Chairperson of the EBC, and a panel of key EBC Committee Chairmen.

For more information and registration form, please click link at right.
New Finnish book on Japan

Pauli Opas, former Finnish Ambassador to Japan, recently published a book (in Finnish) about the special characteristics of the Japanese economy.

In his new book "Japan - the real economic power in Asia", the former Ambassador writes about the special characteristics of the Japanese economy. Opas describes the economic growth of Japan since the second world war - how with hard work and frugality by the 80's the western level of income was achieved and even passed. On the other hand, Opas also writes about the fear and hate towards Japan which was especially felt by the United States earlier.

Other themes of the book are the particulars of the Japanese corporate system and society, the depression of the 1990's, without forgetting the more recent changes in society, from the "lazy" young people to the new ways of doing work, brought by the new century. The book is considered to be perhaps the most important Finnish book on the Japanese economy.

Opas was the Finnish Ambassador to Japan for almost seven years during 1984-1990. Before that he has worked at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as the Director General of the department of trade policy, and as Ambassador both in Korea and in Czechoslovakia.

For more information, go to the Pauli Opas website

News from Finland

Nokia says Q3 handset market share up at 39 %

Nokia reported its third-quarter pretax profit rising to about 1.92 billion euros from 1.15 billion in the year-ago period, adding its handset market share was 39 per cent, up both year-on-year and sequentially.

Net sales rose to about 12.9 billion euros from 10.1 billion in the third quarter of last year, while earnings per share jumped to 40 euro cents from 21 cents in the year-ago period.

In a statement, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, the chief executive of Nokia said: "Nokia strengthened its leading position in the device industry in the third quarter. In a strong market, we simultaneously gained market share and increased our operating margins."

"The quality and depth of our device portfolio continues to give us a good competitive edge and we believe our portfolio looks promising for next year."

Grins of the week

One of the horses?

At Heathrow Airport in England, a 300-foot red carpet was stretched out to Air Force One and President Bush strode to a warm but dignified handshake from Queen Elizabeth II. They rode in an open 17th century coach hitched to six magnificentwhite horses toward Buckingham Palace waving to the thousands of cheering Britons lining the streets, all was going well.

Suddenly the scene was shattered when the right rear horse let rip the most horrendous, earth-shattering blast of flatulence, and the coach immediately filled with noxious fumes.

Uncomfortable, but maintaining control, the two dignitaries did their best to ignore the whole incident, but then the Queen decided that was a ridiculous manner with which to handle a most embarrassing situation.

She turned to Mr. Bush and explained, "Mr. President, please accept my regrets. I'm sure you understand that there are some things even a Queen cannot control."

George W., ever the Texas gentleman, replied, "Your Majesty, please don't give the matter another thought. You know, if you hadn't said something I would have assumed it was one of the horses."

Last but not least; perhaps the most important news this morning for Finns was that Kimi Räikkönen won the season's final Formula One race in Brazil and also took the World Championship in 2007. Well done, Iceman, I am sure the champagne tastes sweet!

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 600 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, 16 individual and one special member.