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  ISSUE 7/2005

23 March, 2005  


For Finns in Japan, this might be a rather short working week. Monday was a public holiday in Japan (Spring Equinox), and on Friday, the Easter holiday starts in Finland. Funny by the way that in Japan we observe the Spring and Autumn Equinox, but not Midsummer. But perhaps the hot and humid season is nothing to celebrate...

Anyhow, short week or long week, here's reminders of a couple of important events coming up, and a new event in the series of seminars organized by the Canadian Chamber. The reminders are about our annual general assembly, and the Stora Enso Golf Cup, where we need some reinforcement the beat the Swedes finally.

31 March - FCCJ Annual General Assembly

The sixth Annual General Assembly of the FCCJ will be held at
the Embassy of Finland on Thursday, 31 March at 17.00.

The General Assembly will be followed by a reception hosted by H.E. Ambassador Eero Salovaara at 18:30.
The Reception is free for one representative per FCCJ member, additional participants will be charged 7,000 yen.
Note that the General Assembly is open only to members and representatives of member companies.

If you would like to attend, and have not yet registered, please click link below.
Stora Enso Cup:
15 April - Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge
The 7th Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge (team competition between the Finnish and the Swedish Chambers) is played on Friday 15 April for a trophy donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K.
This time the event is organized by SCCJ and we have decided to use the same venue as last time, the Windsor Park Golf & Country Club in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Date & Time:Friday 15 April, first tee-off 09:03
Place: Windsor Park Golf & Country Club, Ibaraki Pref. [MAP]
Play format: Stroke play with handicap
Cost:12,500 yen incl. play fee, caddie, lunch & party
Registration:by Friday 1 April

For further information, please click link below for a flyer which also contains a registration form.

Joint Chambers Seminar organized by CCCJ
29 March - "The Personal Information Protection Law-Privacy Mark"

On April 1, 2005, the Japanese government will enact a new law that will require companies to have procedures in place, to ensure the correct handling of confidential personal information.

Tokyo-based companies Intellitest, Global Daigaku.com and Pacifica Consultants have developed a bilingual (English and Japanese) online training and testing system for companies and organizations in Japan to train and test their employees. When the employees of the companies and organizations have successfully completed the training and testing, the companies and organizations will be able to apply for the Privacy Mark and will then be able to display the Privacy Mark symbol to reassure clients, customers, partners and the general public that their company/organization has completed the procedure and that their employees know how to properly handle confidential information. Representatives of Pacifica Consultants and Intellitest Japan will make presentations and Mr. Masaji Hashimoto, lawyer at Linklaters Foreign Law Office, will provide a legal perspective on this new law.

This seminar will cover the following topics:
1) Explanation of the new law and its applications
2) Introduce the contents of the training program
3) Introduce the testing system
4) Explain about the subsequent application process in order to obtain the Privacy Mark
5) Question and answer period


Date & Time:Tuesday, 29 March , 18:30-20:30 p.m. (Cocktail reception includes hors d'oeurves from 18:30-19:00 p.m; panel discussion from 19:00)
Place: Canadian Embassy, Theatre, B1 [MAP]
Cost:Members: 3,500 yen, guests: 4,500 yen
Registration:by Friday 25 March

To register, please click link at right.
News from Finland

Finland's PT keeps 2005 GDP growth forecast at 3.6 pct
The Labour Institute for Economic Research (PT) of Finland in a Tuesday statement kept its 2005 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast at 3.6 per cent, higher than the figures given by the government, banks and other thinktanks.
Last year Finland's GDP grew by 3.7 per cent.

"Tax cuts have caused a fairly significant deficit in state finances this year," Eero Lehto, PT's forecasting chief, said in a news conference in Helsinki. PT puts the deficit at 1.2 billion euros this year and double that next year. Mr Lehto added that the tax breaks had on one hand increased the purchasing power of households and thus demand, as the government had hoped. But on the other hand, the losses in tax revenue could curb the rise in public expenditures and therefore reduce the opportunities to hire in the public sector.

Following the lead of the country's big banks and the Ministry of Finance, PT forecasts Finnish exports to continue strong and to maintain Finland's economic growth.

Grin of the week

A Shave and a Shine

This one barely passed the censors...

A cowboy walked into a barber shop, sat on the barber's chair and said, "I'll have a shave and a shoe shine." The barber began to lather his face and sharpen the old straight edge while a woman with the biggest, firmest, most beautiful breasts that he had ever seen knelt down and began to shine his shoes. The cowboy said, "Young lady, you and I should go and spend some time in a hotel room."

She replied, "I'm married and my husband wouldn't like that.

The cowboy said, "Tell him you're working overtime and I'll pay you the difference."
She said, "You tell him. He is the one shaving you."

On Friday, the EXPO 2005 AICHI opens.It will be exciting to see the first pictures from the Nordic Pavilion. Hope to have a report in my next bulletin. 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 580 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, 16 individual and one special member.