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  ISSUE 18/2002

23 May, 2002  


At our luncheon meeting this week we had a prominent Finnish opinion leader and commentator as guest speaker, and now I am pleased to inform that we could offer you the opportunity to listen to one of Japan's best-known elected official and most outspoken commentator, the Governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara.
Read more about these issues below.

Report from the May Luncheon Meeting
The May luncheon meeting was held on Tuesday 21st at the Capitol Tokyu Hotel.
Our guest speaker was Ambassador Jaakko Iloniemi, one of the most prominent analysts of Finnish society and economy.
In his interesting and enlightening presentation Ambassador Iloniemi described the changes in the political environment, the development from depression to rapid change and growth and the economic prospects.

For more about the meeting, which was attended by 33 members guests and representatives of the press, click link at right. There you will also find Ambassador Iloniemi's presentation in English and Japanese.

ACCJ Luncheon Meeting
Governor Shintaro Ishihara
The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan has kindly invited members of FCCJ to participate in a luncheon meeting with Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara. Don't miss this occasion to listen to one of Japan's best-known politicians' that many people think could be prime minister.
Details are as follows:
Date & Time:Thursday 6 June 11:45-14:00
Place: Hilton Tokyo, Shinjuku (4F, Kiku Ballroom)
Cost:6,500 yen for FCCJ members
Registration:by Monday 3 June, click link at right.
Shintaro Ishihara, Governor of Tokyo, award-winning author, filmmaker, and television personality, is one of Japan's most famous elected officials and an outspoken commentator. Ishihara entered politics in 1968 and has served in both the Lower House and Upper House during his thirty-year political career. He was elected governor of Tokyo in April 1999, and has recently indicated that he may seek re-election. Prior to entering politics, he won the prestigious Akutagawa literary prize for his novel "The Season of the Sun", but he is perhaps best known as the co-author of "The Japan That Can Say No."
June Luncheon Meeting
Pekka Hämäläinen
At our June Luncheon meeting the theme will be about the World Cup and our guest speakers will be Pekka Hämäläinen, President and Teuvo Holopainen, Secretary General of the Finnish Football Federation.
Date & Time:Thursday 27 June 12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, Take Room
Cost:7,000 yen
Registration:by Tuesday 25 June, click link at right.
We will mail out invitations end of next week, but in case you would like to register now, click link at right.
Joint Chamber Guest Speaker Luncheon
Creating New Business Opportunities to Build a New Osaka
Governor Fusae Ota, Osaka Prefectural Government
Osaka is home to a number of high-profile foreign companies, including the new Universal Studios Japan entertainment park, and has a GDP equivalent to Australia's. The region continues to attract foreign investment through its many research facilities and universities and offers excellent government-industry alliance opportunities and support for foreign businesses through the Osaka Business and Investment Center. Governor Ota will discuss the many opportunities for foreign businesses in Osaka and outline how the government is prepared to assist foreign firms in the region.
Date & Time:Monday 3 June 12:00-13:30
Place: Akasaka Prince Hotel Shinryoku Room (Goshiki Centre 1F)
Cost:6,000 yen for members, 7,000 yen for guests (will be invoiced)
Registration:by Friday, 24 May, click link at right.

FCCJ News No. 20
We are now preparing the next issue of our printed newsletter, FCCJ NEWS, which will be out early June. This will include a comprehensive report from Business Confidence Survey, meeting reports and much more.
We have not yet decided which company would be featured in our member presention, so if you are interested, contact us a.s.a.p.
Or, if you have news from your company (e.g. changes in contact information, new staff, etc.) that you would like to convey to our readers, please drop us a line. Photos are also welcome!

News from Finland
Kone plans to acquire Partek
The Finnish Government agreed yesterday to sell its 30.2 % share in Partek Corporation to Kone Corporation. Before this, Partek had advanced plans to merge with KCI Konecranes. These plans would at least for time being be put on hold.
According to Kone's CEO Pekka Herlin Kone plans to acquire at least 90 % of Partek before the end of the summer.
Disappointed with the government's decision, Partek's President and CEO Christoffer Taxell issued the following statement:
"I have decided to resign by the end of today from my position as Partek's President and CEO, and member of Partek's Board of Directors. I likewise vacate my position as the Chairman of the Board of the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers (TT).
I am privileged to have been on an exciting journey, which has lasted almost 12 years. Now I'm leaving for Turku."
Grin of the Week
What they really mean....
A number of different approaches are being tried.
(We are still guessing at this point.)

Major technological breakthrough!
(It works OK, but looks very hi-tech.)

Test results were extremely gratifying!
(Unbelievable! It actually worked.)

The entire concept will have to be abandoned.
(The only person who understood the thing quit.)

No maintenance.
(Impossible to fix)

Finally; I try to be outspoken too...
When the April figures for Japan's foreign trade were disclosed today, showing a surplus growth of 26.6% - the first increase in over a year - a Japanese economist at Credit Suisse First Boston claimed: "Export is the backbone of the Japanese economy and Japan is going to recover pulled by export growth".
May I disagree? As Japan's export only accounts for about 11 % of its GDP (in Finland almost 40 %), I thought that a true recovery could be achieved mainly through a solid growth in domestic consumption. Or did I get something wrong?

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 360 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 71 corporate members.