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  ISSUE 28/2002

25 September, 2002  

Dear !*SALUTATION*! !*LAST_NAME*!,

As you notice, if you have patience to read all the way down, this bulletin has a long "postscript", so I leave the introduction short...

Report from September Luncheon Meeting
The September luncheon meeting was held on Friday the 20th at Capitol Tokyu Hotel.
Our speaker was Kaj Forsell, the President of Tekla K.K. (headquartered in Osaka). In his presentation he gave a background to Tekla, which was established in 1966 and develops and markets model-based information applications for builders, owners, operators and users of physical infrastructures. Tekla is the world leader in 3D modelling technology for steel & building industry.
Tekla opened representative office in Osaka in 1999 and established their own subsidiary (Tekla K.K.) in April 2001, when also a representative office was opened in Tokyo. Tekla has already gained a good foothold on the Japanese market, although bringing new technologies to a conservative sector in Japan has posed its own challenges.
For more about Tekla and the the luncheon, please click link at right.
Stora Enso Cup:
FCCJ Golf Competition & Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge - last reminder
The 4th FCCJ Golf Competition is played on Friday 11 October and this is at the same time the 2ndand Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge were we play team competition against the Swedish Chamber.
FCCJ members play for the FCCJ Golf Cup and the team competition for a trophy donated by StoraEnso Japan K.K.
And, the best golfer (Stableford points with handicap) will win a Business Class round-trip ticket Tokyo/Osaka - Scandinavia donated by FINNAIR.

Here are the details:

Date & Time:Friday, 11 October , first tee-off 9.03
Place: Ibaraki Golf Club , Ibaraki Pref.  MAP 
Cost:18,300 yen (incl. green fee, caddie, tax, locker)
+ party fee 3,000 yen
Bus:In cooperation with SCCJ we organize bus transportation from Shibuya.
Fee 5,000 yen

Note that due to the rules of the competition, this invitation applies only to FCCJ members (incl. employees at member companies).
At this moment we have 32 players registered, 15 from FCCJ. To ensure that we beat the Swedes, we would like to have some additional players.
To register, click link at right. Give also your handicap, or three latest scores and also note in case you would like to use the bus service.
October Luncheon Meeting
Timo Airaksinen
At our October luncheon meeting we will have a guest speaker from Finland, Professor Timo Airaksinen, Chairman of Japan Guild in Helsinki (Japani-Kilta) and the theme of his presentation is: "Finnish Perspectives on Japan: An Evolving Picture"
Luncheon details:
Date & Time:Wednesday 23 October, 12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, Chikuen Room (B2F)
Cost:7,000 yen at the door
Registration:by Monday 21 October

To register now, click link at right.
Finnish-Japanese Translation and Interpretation Services
Ms. Hiroko Kawamura-Palmunen is a translator, interpreter, organizer, travel agent at her own company in Karkkila, Finland. She has been living in Finland for more than 20 years and has done commercial and technical translations, ministerial level and business interpretations, scheduled complete travel packages for Japanese special groups, etc., etc.
In case you are interested in her services contact  me for her CV, or  Ms. Kawamura Palmunen directly.

News from Finland
Bank of Finland: Years of slow growth ahead
Finland have to be prepared for the fact that recovery of the world economy to be a long and slow process. And there is no reason to expect that the GDP growth in Finland would exceed 3 %, which at best could be achieved next year, in the coming years,

According to Governor Matti Vanhala, Finland should continue to decrease the tax burden. Vanhala - as the European Central Bank - has lost believe in that the euro area alone could even be the engine of its own economic growth. "It is difficult to think that Europe with its structural problems could generate such a growth that it would compensate for the declined growth in the US economy" - said Vanhala.
Grin of the Week
Stevie Wonder and Jack Nicklaus
Stevie Wonder and Jack Nicklaus are in a bar talking about their careers. When asked about his golf Nicklaus replies: "Not too bad, I am not winning as much as I used to but I'm still making a bit of money. I have some problems with my swing but I think I've got that right now."
"I always find that when my swing goes wrong I need to stop playing for a while and think about it, then the next time I play it seems to be all right," says Stevie.
"You play golf!?" asks Jack.
Stevie says, "Yes, I have been playing for years."
"But I thought you were blind; how can you play golf if you are blind?" Jack asks.
" I get my caddie to stand in the middle of the fairway and he calls to me. I listen for his voice and play the ball towards him, then when I get to where the ball lands the caddie moves to the green or further down the fairway and again I play the ball towards his voice," explains Stevie.
Nicklaus says, "What is your handicap?"
"Well, I play off scratch," Stevie assures Jack. Nicklaus is surprised and says to Stevie, "We must play a game sometime."
Wonder replies, "Well, people don't take me seriously so I only play for money, and I never play for less than $100,000 a hole."
Nicklaus thinks it over and says, "OK, I'm up for that. When would you like to play?"
"I don't care - any night next week is OK with me."

Taking about "Finnish Perspectives on Japan" (theme for our October luncheon).
Sometimes you feel that people in Finland forget that Japan is, and will remain for many years to come, Finland's most important trading partner in Asia.
One recent reminder of this (that people forget...) is that top business organizations and Ministries in Finland have decided that Finland should not participate in Expo 2005 Aichi, despite public comments in Japan in 1997 from both (then) President Ahtisaari and PM Lipponen that Finland fully supports the Expo.
Naturally even our top politicians statements do not always have to be taken literally (even though it would cause some embarrassment to go against their words), decisions like these have to be made based on current facts and the intentions of companies in the marketplace, and the perceived value of the event.
But, even if the Japanese economy is not in best shape, most Finnish companies in Japan are doing good business, proven by the fact that Finland's export to Japan grew by 15 % in the first half of 2002, when it declined by 15 % to China. And, Finnish companies continue to increase their efforts in Japan, as proven in the Business Confidence Survey in May which showed that 78% of the Finnish companies plan to expand their activities.
And, even if world Expo's might have played out their role in Europe, events of this magnitude creates a lot of interest in Japan and gives a good opportunity to create positive PR for Finland and our companies.
We were surprised that nobody asked the opinions of the Finnish organizations and companies in Japan before saying no. Now, perhaps too late, we are trying to bring up our views on the matter, pleading for a reversed decision. If any success, I will keep you informed of our plans.

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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ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
This bulletin is published by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) and distributed to over 400 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.