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  ISSUE 22/2004

24 November, 2004  


The holiday season is closing in at an alarming speed, and if you walk on the streets in Tokyo, you might, already a few weeks back, have thought that Christmas is just around the corner.

But for sure there's still a lot of work for you before you could take a few days off to relax. And in the FCCJ, we have two major events still this year, the joint Scandinavian Christmas Party and the Christmas Luncheon at the Embassy. Read more about these below.

Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey - Autumn 2004
Economy slowing down - but companies continue to grow

The Foreign Chambers in Japan (FCIJ) conducted the first Business Confidence survey in April 2002, based on a format developed by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

This is the sixth survey and the intention is to conduct these surveys twice a year to create a foreign companies business barometer. The survey was sent to members at 17 organizations representing 2,150 foreign affiliated companies and generated 324 valid responses.

Even though the views on economy were, as expected, not as optimistic as in the Spring 2004 survey, this survey shows that the respondents' views on their own business performance and forecasts on sales and profitability for the coming six months remain optimistic and on level with the results from the spring survey. The strategies for Japan remain bullish, 75 % of the respondents seek further growth in Japan, 21 % plan to maintain current level.

For more on the survey and to download the full report, click at right.
Report from November Luncheon Meeting

The guest speaker at our November luncheon was Mr. Matti Suokko, Group Manager, Business Development, Mobile Platforms Division at Microsoft Corporation and the theme of his presentation was: "The Next Wave in Mobile Computing - and why you should care...", although Mr. Suokko slightly revised the theme to "The next Waves..." to cover all the aspects of the new developments.

Even though the hotel made a new speed record in serving the lunch, Mr. Suokko's interesting presentation created som much questions, comments and discussions that we almost run out of time.

For more about the event, attended by 23 members and guests, and more images, click link below.
Scandinavian Christmas Party
The registration for the 12th Scandinavian Christmas Party is still going on. We have already about 400 persons signed up from the five Nordic Chambers, of those about 80 from the FCCJ. We still have room for about 15 more from our chamber.

The party, held on Friday, 10 December at the Royal Park Hotel will bring you again an enjoyable and exciting evening together with 450 friends from the other Scandinavian Chambers.

If you would like to participate and have not yet signed up, please do so at your earliest convenience by clicking link below, registration dead-line is coming Friday (26 November). Note that due to space restrictions, this event is open to FCCJ members only (incl. staff at member companies).

We are also still recruiting sponsors for the event. If you are interested to become a sponsor, please go to the web site (link below) for details on sponsor opportunities and sign-up form. If you are a member of another Scandinavian Chamber, please sign through your chambers sign-up form.
Christmas Luncheon Meeting
The traditional FCCJ Christmas Luncheon is again this year held at our Embassy, were we can enjoy a Finnish style Christmas buffet prepared by the Embassy's chef.

Here are the details:
Date & Time:Friday, 17 December, 12:00-14:00
Place: Embassy of Finland
(3-5-39, Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo)  MAP 
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Tuesday, 14 December

H.E. Mr. Eero Salovaara, Ambassador of Finland to Japan, will brief us on current issues in Japan-Finland relations, changes in the Embassy personnel and we will also get update on the joint Nordic participation in the Expo 2005 Aichi.

Please note that we will collect the luncheon fee of 7,000 yen at the Embassy and provide you with receipt. Note also that we have to invoice the lunch fee for cancellations later than 14 December and "no-shows".

If you would like to attend, please click link at right. Note that due to space restrictions, this event is open to FCCJ members only (incl. staff at member companies).
The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan Presents
Paul A. Laudicina: World out of Balance

Paul A. Laudicina, Vice President, Global Business Policy Council, A.T. Kearney, & Author of "World Out of Balance: Navigating Global Risk to Seize Competitive Advantage"


Date & Time:Thursday, 2 December, 12:00 - 14:00
Place: Tokyo American Club, 3F
Cost:4,500 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Monday 29 November

For today's business, both opportunities and threats are global in nature. Yet volatility has become a chronic condition, with geopolitics, macroeconomics, social upheaval, and technological developments all spawning increasingly rapid and disruptive change. How do today's business leaders identify and seize opportunities for growth while protecting against the proliferation of downside, interdependent risks?

Paul Laudicina will discuss what business leaders making such decisions need to know. Using a scenario-based approach to strategic planning and risk management. He argues that successful business leaders today must simultaneously be smart enough to discern the opportunities, quick enough to seize them, and nimble enough to protect against attendant risks.

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

Nokia's Alahuhta to lead Kone

Matti Alahuhta, 52, chief strategy officer and group executive board member of Nokia, was on Monday appointed chief executive of Kone, the Finnish lift maker based next door to Nokia in Espoo's Keilaniemi.

Mr Alahuhta has been in Nokia's board since 1993. He succeeds Manfred Eiden in Kone, who is returning to Germany for personal reasons, a Kone stock exchange statement said on Monday.

According to a restructuring programme announced in October, Kone is to be split in two later this year or in early 2005. Mr Alahuhta's patch is to be the elevators and escalators business.

Cargo handling operations are to be centred into the new Cargotec division.

Tero Ojanperä, currently leading Nokia's corporate research and development unit, was on Monday appointed by the Finnish mobile phone market leader as the group's next chief strategy officer and group executive board member.
Grin of the week

Curtains on Windows?

A timely story in regard to our luncheon meeting with Mr. Suokko of Microsoft. This joke was brought to us by Mr. JM, our old friend of many of us, now back in Helsinki. My apologies in advance to Ms. KV and other fair haired female friends - "don't shoot the messenger" - and replace the word Blonde with Redhead or something similar...

A Blonde enters a store that sells curtains. She tells the salesman: "I would like to buy a pair of pink curtains."

The salesman assures her that they have a large selection of pink curtains. He shows her several patterns, but the blond seems to be having a hard time choosing.

Finally she selects a lovely pink floral print. The salesman then asks what size curtains she needs. The blond promptly replies, "fifteen inches."

"Fifteen inches???", asked the salesman. "That sounds very small, what room are they for?" The blond tells him that they aren't for a room, they are for her computer monitor.

The surprised salesman replies, "but Miss, computers do not need curtains!" The blond says, "Hellllooooooooo ... I've got Windoooooows!..."

Still back to the business confidence survey. An interesting note; in the April survey we asked the respondents to give their opinion on the yen/dollar exchange rate, which then was in the 114-115 yen range, in six months time. The average result was 104.8 yen. As we know, the forecast came very close.

That's all for now,

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.