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  ISSUE 20/2018 23 August 2018 
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Finally we know the name of our new Ambassador.
Om 10 August President Sauli Niinisto appointed Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Pekka Orpana to serve as Finland's Ambassador to Tokyo from 1 September 2018. For details, check the Embassy web site.

We wish Mr. Orpana welcome to Tokyo and hope we will have a good and fruitful cooperation, as we have had with our previous Ambassadors.

This is the final reminder for our traditional Yakatabune (river boat) Cruise on Friday, 31 August. We a few slots left so if you plan to participate and have not signed up yet, do so at latest tomorrow Friday. More information below!

The 16th Mercedes-Benz - Cole Haan Cup is played on Friday, 5 October at the same venue as before, Atsugi Kokusai C.C. in Kanagawa pref.. Unfortunately the European team is currently fully booked, although you can still sign up but will be placed on a waiting list. Event details below.

We have a new contribution from our "Aoyama View" columnist, this time titled "Summer heat, new scandals and export worries - but Tokyo is best".

Click banner at right to for an interesting read on a variety of subjects in global and national politics, business and society.

Friday, 31 August - FCCJ Yakatabune Event
Finnair AY4159 - Finn Tour FT4120 Code Share Cruise

Based on the success of last eight year's cruises we have again decided to start off the FCCJ Autumn season in style and with some great fun, please join us for the Finnair AY4159 - Finn Tour FT4120 Code Share Yakatabune Cruise on Friday, 31 August. Thanks to our sponsors, the participation fee for members and their guests is substantially subsidized.

We have chartered our own Yakatabune boat. It starts at Asakusa touring down Sumida River to Odaiba and back in 2.5 hours. During the cruise you could enjoy a great Japanese tempura-sashimi dinner and drinks in the "all-you-can-eat & drink" style. For images from last year's event, click here.

Date & Time:Friday, 31 August, 18.30-21:00
Embarkation:Funayado Miuraya, 1-1-10, Asakusabashi, Taito-ku , Tokyo
Cost:9,000 yen for members, non-members 12,000 yen
Registration:by Friday, 24 August

We have only 6 slots left so if you plan to participate and have not yet signed up, do so soon, at latest tomorrow Friday!
For more information and registration form for the event, click links at right.
Wednesday, 26 September - EU Delegation Seminar
Geographical Indications and the EU-Japan EPA

The EU Delegation to Japan invites you to attend a seminar on geographical indications (GIs) in the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement which will be held at the EU Delegation on Wednesday, 26 September from 15:00 to 18:00.

For Japan, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is the first trade agreement to include geographic indications (GIs) for distinctive and high-quality food and drinks. The protection of GI names is an area where Japan and the EU share common interests and similar concerns. The agreement on GIs is therefore designed to help ensure the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, while increasing bilateral trade, supporting rural economies and protecting local brand names and jobs.

Famous European GIs include Champagne, Parma ham and Port wine. In Japan e.g. Kobe beef and Yobari melon are registered GIs. Finland has only a few, e.g. Kainuun rönttönen (berry pie from Kainuu) and Puruveden muikku (vendace from Puruvesi).

For full details of the seminar and registration form, click link at right!
Friday, 5 October - The North-America - Europe Golf Challenge in Japan
Mercedes-Benz Cole Haan Cup 2018

We are pleased to announce that the 16th North America - Europe Golf Challenge in Japan, the Mercedes-Benz - Cole Haan Cup, will be played on Friday, 5 October, at the same venue as in previous years, the Atsugi Kokusai Country Club in Kanagawa Prefecture.

The player registration fee is 3,000 yen and is non-refundable, the remaining participation fee is 21,700 yen and paid directly to the Club after play. The total fee of 24,700 yen covers, the green fee, caddie, lunch, beverages, buffet at the awards reception, and fantastic prizes.

Unfortunately the European team is currently fully booked, although you can still sign up but will be placed on a waiting list. But if you are a member of the American or Canadian Chamber you can sign up for them, we still have vacancies in the North American team.

To sign-up as player and/or sponsor, please click link at right.
Need a Business Plan?

Are you a business owner looking for a business plan tailored to the Japanese market for your market entry or business expansion? If so, take part in the Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC)!

As a JMEC Project Client, you can receive a professional business plan developed by some of Japan's brightest up-and-coming business leaders for a fraction of the cost of hiring outside consultants. To learn more about this opportunity, including eligibility requirements, visit the JMEC homepage at You can find the application form here:

JMEC is also looking for individual applicants to participate in the program and learn how to research and develop a professional business plan. This 'mini MBA' style program includes classroom training with experienced executives and successful entrepreneurs as lecturers - as well as hands-on experience in writing a business plan for a real business project, submitted by a real company. Interested applicants can find more information and apply here:

JMEC Information Sessions for Participants: Held Aug 30, Sep 5, 13, 19 & 27, Oct 3, 2018, from 19:00 to 20:30, at the Ebisu offices of JMEC sponsor Meltwater. For venue details and to register for a session, click here.

The FCCJ is a proud sponsor of JMEC and encourages our members and the greater business community to get involved.

Friday, 7 September - JMEC WIRED Night #17
"Gamification: Make everyday fun!" with Ryohei Ikejiri

The JMEC Alumni Association is pleased to invite you to its next social event, JMEC WIRED Night #17 - featuring an interactive presentation/workshop entitled "Gamification: Make everyday fun" from Dr. Ryohei Ikejiri of the University of Tokyo.

  • Date & Time: Friday, 7 September, 19:00-22:00
  • Place: Tokyo Chapter (Ninetytwo13, 9-2-13 Akasaka, Minato-ku) MAP
  • Price: 1,000 yen (pay at the door)

  • What is Gamification? Gamification is not a new concept, it's a methodology that started gaining momentum in 2010 and has since been increasing in popularity. It applies game-like elements to add "fun" to various activities and fields.

    For full details of the seminar and registration form, click link at right!
    News from Finland

    Unemployment figures fall again in July

    Statistics Finland reports there were 183,000 people without jobs in Finland in July, 24,000 fewer than one year prior.

    Unemployment in Finland continues its downward trajectory. Statistics Finland's Labour Force Survey compares the same month in 2017 and 2018, and shows that this year in July, there were 183,000 unemployed in Finland, while last year there were 207,000.

    The state-owned number cruncher says that the trend of the employment rate was 71.9 percent, when adjusted for seasonal and random variations.

    This figure is just shy of the 72 percent employment target that Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's government set when it took office four years ago.

    Seasonal factors have a significant effect on employment figures from month to month, Statistics Finland explains, and this is why it is more informative to examine levels year-on-year. Seasonal and random variation adjustments then make the data mutually comparable, allowing for better recognition of trends.

    The drop means that there are now 75,000 more people who are considered employed in Finland than one year earlier. Statistics Finland calculates that, as of last month, there were 2.63 million residents of Finland who had work. Without seasonal adjustment, this rate of employment would be at 74.1 percent.

    Data also shows that there were 43,000 fewer people in the "inactive population" in Finland in July 2018. This puts the total of "people who are not employed or unemployed" at 1.3 million people.

    The unemployment rate for July of this year was therefore 6.5 percent, or 1.0 percentage point lower than in July 2017.
    Grin of the Week

    Fatherly advice

    This older man was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation.

    As he was about to receive the anesthesia he asked to speak to his son. "Yes Dad, what is it?"

    "Don't be nervous, son, do your best and just remember, if it doesn't go well, if something happens to me ... your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife...."
    Best regards

    Clas G. Bystedt
    If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
    send it to:

    This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 700 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 62 corporate members, 19 individual and two special members.