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  ISSUE 15/2009 24 June, 2009  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Holiday season is just around the corner. For some, mainly those in Finland, it might have already started.

One of the major holidays in Finland, the Midsummer, was last weekend. A lot of celebrations and partying, often involving excessive use of alcohol. According to statistics by Alko, the Finnish state alcohol monopoly, sales increase by 70% in the week leading up to Midsummer. Seems to be some truth in the Finnish proverb/joke "You might be able to have fun without alcohol, but why take the risk". But it has its price, many people die in accidents and drowning, in most cases alcohol consumption playing a major role.

In Japan, we had our traditional Midsummer Party (for the eighth time) at Finland Village in Koumi-machi, Nagano pref. This hear it was held already on 6 June, attended by about 300 people, 18 of them representative the Finnish business community in Japan. Ambassador Jorma Julin also attended the party, which was much appreciated by the locals, the first time our ambassador was present at the event. Ambassador Julin also participated in the Nordic Walking event held on the same day. If you want to know more, click here.

We have our last event coming Tuesday, please read more below!

  Tuesday, 30 June - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting
Darrel Whitten, Editor and Publisher of The Japan Investor:
"What Will Pull Japan Out of its Recession?"

Our next luncheon meeting will be held on Tuesday, 30 June, where we will have Mr. Darrel Whitten, Editor and Publisher of The Japan Investor as our guest speaker.
The theme of Mr. Whitten's presentation is: "What Will Pull Japan Out of its Recession?"


Date & Time:Tuesday, 30 June, 12.00-14:00
Venue: Hotel Okura, Kensington Terrace (South Wing 12F) MAP
Cost:7,000 yen for members, guests 8,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Friday, 26 June

Profile of Mr. Whitten
Darrel Whitten is editor/publisher and managing directro of The Japan Investor, and lived and worked in Japan for the past 31 years. A native of California, he began his Japan career as an investment analyst for Nomura Securities and has been director and managing director of Japanese investment research for Prudential Securities, Lehman Brothers and ABN AMRO Securities. Darrel has been providing investors with value-added research on Japanese financial markets for over 20 years. Darrel is also founder and managing director of Investor Networks Inc. Investor Networks is a Tokyo-based independent IR consultancy that provides IR consulting services to listed Japanese companies. He is also an advisor to The Gerson Lehrman Group's Council of Advisors for the Legal, Economic & Regulatory Affairs Advisory Board.

He graduated cum laude from Sophia University in Tokyo with a major in economics and a minor finance in 1978.

If you would like to attend, please click link below.
To check if you have registered and see who else have, click here.

EBC White Paper 2008

This year, The European Business Council (EBC) will again produce English and Japanese white papers for release in early November. This will be the 10th in the series.

Although the White Paper is our trademark report, this year in particular with much less funding than usual, we will not be able to produce it without financial support to cover the costs of production, translation, printing and distribution. So once again, we are asking EBC members to sponsor the publication as "Blue-Star Sponsors," "Special Sponsors" or "Sponsors" in return for visible acknowledgment in the 2 volumes and we will also place all sponsor logos on a dedicated page in our website for 12 months.
Similar to last year, the EBC will also take advance orders for the white papers at 5,000 yen for one set (1 English and 1 Japanese version per set) to assist with cost-recovery. Companies placing advance orders will be listed in the white paper as "Supporters."

White Paper Sponsorship
  • Blue-Star Sponsorship 150,000 yen (or more if you wish) (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)

    Purchase Price of White Papers (including postage):
  • 5,000 yen per set: 1 English copy and 1 Japanese copy

    A sponsorship reply form and an order reply form are attached below right. If you would like to support the white paper as either a sponsor and/or would like to order copies please print out the forms and return them to the EBC secretariat by fax (3263-6223) or by e-mail (
    The EBC would appreciate your response by July 24.
    JMEC Celebrates Fifteen Years of Strengthening Business in Japan

    The Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) celebrated its fifteenth anniversary, and named the winners of this program year, at its annual awards ceremony on June 5th, 2009 at the Tokyo American Club. Winners of the first places was the project team (pictured below) representing American-based Crafts Americana Group. Ltd.

    72 participants from 15 countries took part in JMEC 15. These individuals formed 11 teams, which wrote business plans for organizations from Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and the US, as well as several Japan-based organizations. Each of these project clients received a comprehensive, ready-to-implement business plan addressing its specific objectives in the Japanese market, at a fraction of the cost of hiring outside consultants.

    JMEC is a program sponsored by thirteen foreign chambers of commerce and the European Business Council in Japan. JMEC 16 will commence in the fall of 2009, with information sessions being held in September and October. The deadline to apply for participants is October 23, 2009 and for project clients is November 27, 2009. To find out more about the JMEC program, please visit or contact program director Laura Loy at

    For the full press release, please click link at right.
    (Misses) Magazine, July issue

    For those of you who read Japanese - Magazine published a 34 pages special section about Finland in their July issue. It covers wide range of topics like landscape and living, famous composers, architects and designers, design and shopping in Helsinki.

    It dedicates 6 pages for the Finnish school and library system, including an interview with Riikka Pahkala.

    News from Finland

    Finnish May jobless rate up at 8.6 pct

    Finland's unemployment rate, adjusted for seasonal and random variation, rose to 8.6 per cent in May from 6.3 per cent in the year-ago period and 8.2 per cent in April, Statistics Finland said in a statement Tuesday.

    The unadjusted jobless rate rose to 10.9 per cent from 8.8 per cent in the year-ago period.

    Grin of the Week

    Smart little girl

    A little girl asked her mother for a dollar to give to an old lady in the park.. Her mother was touched by the child's kindness and gave her the required sum.

    "There you are, my dear," said the mother. "But, tell me, isn't the lady able to work any more?"

    "Oh yes," came the reply. "She sells candy."
  • Have a good rest of the week and
    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 650 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, 15 individual and one special member.