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  ISSUE 15/2004

23 August, 2004  


Business should be back to normal soon after all the summer holidays, which have provided variable weather, depending on where you have been.

Reflecting on the weather, and the Athens Olympics, one could almost draw the conclusion that there must be a relation between summer temperature and success in the Olympics. Japan has had one the hottest summers on record, in Finland there has been mainly rain, and cool. Japan has as of today 26 medals at the Olympics, 13 of them gold which has by far exceeded expectations. Finland still only has 1! One of the Finnish tabloids runs a reader survey on their web site. Before the Olympics the question was "How many medals will Finland get?". After a few days they changed the question to: "Do you think Finland will get any medals?" and on Friday the question was "Do you still follow the Olympics?"

Having lived in Japan for over 16 years, am I allowed to count myself now as 35% Japanese? (roughly the portion of my left spent in Japan). Then "we" have eight medals!

Do we match the expectations?
Results from the FCCJ Member Survey 2004

As part of the FCCJ's continuing effort to delivering value to its members, the FCCJ has conducted a member survey to find out the opinions of the members, including the staff of the corporate members that might be interested in the activities of FCCJ .

The Board will use the results from these research efforts develop the chamber based on a better understanding regarding the needs and desires of FCCJ members.

The survey was conducted online during 4 - 18 June, 2004 and it received 58 responses.

For more about the survey and the full report in English and Japanese, click link below.
FCCJ September Luncheon Meeting

The next luncheon meeting is held on Friday 17 September.

Our speaker is Dr. Jukka Viitanen, Counsellor, TEKES Tokyo and the theme of his presentation is "Tekes - in search of Science and Technology Excellence".

Date & Time:Friday, 17 September, 12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto Room, B2F [MAP]
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Wednesday 15 September

  Dr Viitanen was born in 1966 and earned his Doctorate (Management Information Systems) from Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, including two years of Ph.D. studies at the Institute for Socio-Information and Communication Studies, at the University of Tokyo, 1995-1997. His Ph.D. thesis was: "The Information Management Strategies in the Global Network Organization".
Before joining Tekes on 1 August, Dr. Viitanen was the CEO and Founder of Asia-Pacific Insight Corp. Ltd. (2002-2004) and the Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan (1999-2001).

If you would like to register, click link at right.

The August issue of our printed newsletter (yes, the member survey revealed that there's still many members that want to have hard copies of our newsletter) is in the mail. Obviously we have allocated much space to report on the member survey, but it also includes event reports, news and information on our coming events.

Although we still print it, we have also prepared an online pdf version. If you cannot wait to have the hard copy, click link at right. Note that the pdf file is English/Japanese, so in case you do not run Windows XP (or Mac) or have Japanese installed on your computer, you might not be able to open it.
 FCCJ NEWS (pdf 1.3 MB)
Reminder about EBC White Paper 2004

I my previous newsletter I informed about the EBC White Paper sposnorship and advance orders of the paper. The EBC has received now pledges for sponsorship and orders to an amount which represents about 83% of the target. So to reach the tager, a reminder is in place.

As this is the EBC's hallmark publication, we are requesting EBC members and friends to sponsor the publication as "Blue-Star Sponsors", "Special Sponsors" or "Sponsors" in return for visible acknowledgment in the 2 volumes. This authentication via sponsorship from the members is essential in establishing the credibility of the report with the Japanese Government.

The EBC is also taking orders for the white papers at 5,000 yen for one set (1 English and 1 Japanese version per set). Please note that the names of companies placing advance orders will also be listed as "Supporters" in the report.

  • Blue-Star Sponsorship: 150,000 yen ad up (Company name on a 2-name page)
  • Special Sponsorship: 100,000 yen (Company name on a 10-name page)
  • Sponsorship: 50,000 yen (Company name on a 20-name page)

  • 5,000 yen per set: 1 English copy and 1 Japanese copy (including postage)

    If you would like to support the white paper as sponsor and/or would like to order copies please click links below for order forms.
    News from Finland

    More focus on employment - Conservative Chair

    Chairman of the biggest opposition party, Jyrki Katainen of the Conservative Party, thinks the Government budget draft lacks sufficient concern for employment and the future.

    Mr Katainen says in his Thursday statement that taxation of work should have been eased in all income brackets by 1 percentage unit already in the budget talks. Katainen sees tax cuts as primarily a structural measure by which the threshold for finding employment and accepting more work is lowered. "Now Government is sending the wrong message to citizens, since index corrections threaten to rather make income taxation heavier than lighter next year," Katainen said.

    Employers' social contribution payments on sectors of low productivity should have been scheduled for the beginning of next year at the latest, in Katainen's mind.
    Grin of the week

    A good deal?

    As US tourists in Israel, a man and his wife were sitting outside a Bethlehem souvenir shop, waiting for fellow tourists. An Arab salesman approached them carrying belts. After an impassioned sales talk yielded no results, he asked where they were from. "America," the husband replied.

    Looking at her dark hair and olive skin, the Arab responded. "She's not from the States." "Yes I am." said the wife. He looked at her and asked. "Is he your husband?" "Yes." she replied.

    Turning to the husband, he offered..... "I'll give you 100 camels for her." The husband looked stunned, and there was a long silence. Finally he replied, "she's not for sale."

    After the salesman left, the somewhat indignant wife asked her husband what took him so long to answer, to which the husband replied, "I was trying to figure out how to get 100 camels back home."
  • That's all for now, and remember - if you are serious about the Olympics - it is just sports!

    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 550 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.