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  ISSUE 8/2002

26 FEBRUARY, 2002  


Finally, as the Swedes say..;-), the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake are over. But not only the Swedes leave the Games behind them with mixed feelings. Sometimes you feel that the Olympics nowadays are more a game between the athlete's doctors and the IOC Medical Committee, and corrupt judges, than between clean and honest atheletes. Something needs to be done to clean up this mess, but that's easier said than done, with all the money involved.

But let's tend to our businesses....

General Assembly 2001
Annual General Assembly
Date & Time:Tuesday, 19 March, 18.30 -21.00
Place: Embassy of Finland, Tokyo
Cost:Free one representative per member, others 7,000 yen
The General Assembly will be followed by a Buffet Dinner, sponsored in part by  Nippon Finnpap Ltd.  and  AvestaPolarit Japan K.K. 

FCCJ Seminar:
Tax Issues for Expatriates - last reminder
Date & Time:Monday, 4 March 18:00-20:00
Place: Nippon Finnpap Conference Room 7 Fl.
1-1-2, Moto-Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo  MAP 
Cost:5,000 yen (incl. light meal)
To give you an insight in the Japanese taxation, and some valuable tips for your tax return, FCCJ organizes the second tax seminar were Mr. Yoshinori Sano, Certified Public Accountant, FCCJ member and well known among the Finnish business community, is our expert on these issues.
  • Classification by resident status
  • Tax convention (treaty)
  • Non-taxable/taxable benefits
  • Deductions from income/tax table
  • Local inhabitant tax
  • Quasi-income tax return
  • Stock options
  • Q & A

  • If you want to participate and have not yet registered, do so by clicking link at right, no later than tomorrow, Wed. 27 February.
    Stora Enso Cup:
    Sweden-Finland Golf Challenge
    FCCJ and Swedish Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Japan have decided to organize bi-annual golf competitions between members of the two Chambers. We are invited to the SCCJ Spring Golf Cup, and we will invite the Swedish Chamber to our FCCJ Golf Cup in the Autumn. We will play for a cup donated by Stora Enso Japan K.K.

    Here are the details for the first Golf Challenge:
    Date & Time:Friday, 12 April
    Place: Tamatsukuri Golf Club , Nejiki Course, Ibaraki Pref.  MAP 
    Cost:ca. 18,000 yen (incl. play-fee, caddie, lunch and party fee)
    Bus fee, ca. 4,000 yen, is excluded
    As the number of participants is limited, please register as soon as possible by clicking link at right. Note that due to the rules of the competition, this invitation applies only to FCCJ members (incl. employees at member companies).
    EBC Luncheon:
    Combating Terrorist Financing and Money Laundering:
    Japanese Government Measures
    Guest Speaker: Mr. Kiyotaka Sasaki, Director for International Financial Issues, International Organizations Division, International Bureau, Ministry of Finance
    Date & Time:Tuesday, 19 March, 12:00-14:00
    Place: Tokyo American Club, 4F
    2-1-2, Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Cost:5,500 yen
    The Japanese Government has been making a sustained and diligent effort to cooperate with the global campaign against terrorist financing and money laundering. Mr. Sasaki will provide information on asset freezing of terrorist organizations under the Foreign Exchange Act as well as on-site inspections for compliance to the Act. He will brief on new legislation that MOF is drafting to further combat terrorist financing that will include more effective asset freezing.
    Mr. Sasaki's presentation will be in English and to be followed by a Q&A session
    For more about the luncheon, and registration form, click link at right.

    NCCJ Presentation:
    "Can Japan Ever Recover? "
    The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan, in cooperation with the Canadian Chamber, organizes a presentation on the above theme by Mr. Richard Jerram and Mr. James Fiorillo, ING Baring Securities (Japan) Ltd.
    Date & Time:Thursday, 7 March, 18:30-20:00
    Place: The theatre of the Canadian Embassy  MAP 
    7-3-38 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Cost:2,500 yen
    Richard Jerram has been Chief Economist at ING Barings Securities (Japan) Ltd since 1996. He has been analyzing the Japanese economy since before the bubble, including a period at the Economist Intelligence Unit. Mr. Jerram has a BSc (Economics) from University College London and an MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics, where he has also taught.
    Mr. Fiorillo is Director, Senior Analyst and head of the Financial Instutions Group at ING Barings. He joined ING Barings in 1993 after working at the Bank of New York here in Tokyo. Prior to that he worked at Salomon Brothers in New York. Mr. Fiorillo has an MBA from the IUJ/Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a BA in Finance and Investment from Baruch College NYC.
    For more about the event, and registration form, click link at right.

    DCCJ Luncheon (in cooperation with FCCJ, SCCJ and NBF):
    Gerald Curtis: "Koizumi and the Politics of Reform"
    Date & Time:Wednesday, 20 March, 12:00-14:00
    Place: International House of Japan  MAP 
    5-11-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Cost:6,000 yen
    Gerald L. Curtis is Burgess Professor of Political Science and former Director of the East Asian Institute at Columbia University. Currently on leave from Columbia University, he is Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. He is the author of numerous books and articles in English and Japanese on Japan and on United States' relations with Japan and policy in East Asia. His most recent book, The Logic of Japanese Politics, draws on his intimate knowledge of the personalities that have dominated Japan's political landscape for the past thirty years.
    For more about the luncheon, and registration form, click link at right.

    EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation:
    JOHOGEN Directory 2002
    The recently completed the JOHOGEN directory, 6th edition, is now available. The 200+ pages directory has been expanded from the last version to include new chapters, new entries and many other updates. The following chapters are included:
  • Sources of the mobile & wireless industry
  • Market and industry
  • Corporate information
  • Science and technology
  • Economic information
  • Information on the government of Japan
  • Law, Patent and other IP information
  • Exhibitions and business seminars
  • Labour and employment information
  • Database and multimedia services
  • Libraries in Japan
  • Working with the Japanese language
  • The directory is free, you only have to send 600 yen value of stamps for postage.
    For more information and order sheet, click link at right.
    News from Finland
    Euro not guilty
    The entry of the euro on January 1 barely affected prices but they did turn sharply upwards from the month before, Statistics Finland reported. SF attributed most of the rise to dearer groceries. Its revised price index put the annual inflation rate for January at 2.3 %, compared with 1.8 % in January.
    From the end of this week the 19th century markka will cease to be legal tender, though most banks will swap the old currency for euros until the end of this year.
    Whilst the switch was generally said to have gone smoothly, retailers said sales of clothes and household and leisure goods fell by 3.3 % in January as buyers hesitated over price tags in the new currency.
    SF said retail sales expanded by 2.6 % in December from a year before. Department stores gained most, increasing sales by 5.8 %, whilst grocers gained 3 %. But the overall figures were tarnished by flagging car sales.
    Grin of the Week
    Riding a dead horse...
    The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
    Modern organizations often employ a whole range of far more advanced strategies, such as:
  • Buying a stronger whip.
  • Changing riders.
  • Appointing a committee to study the horse.
  • Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride
  • Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
  • Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.
  • Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would
  • Re-writing the expected performance requirements for all horses.
  • Promoting the dead horse to a management position.
  • Changing the name of the computer (oops, horse)
  • I wish you a good week, and for sports freaks, one with more sleep...
    ... and if I was a bit naughty at the Swedes in the beginning of this bulletin, that's just a psycological build-up for our Golf Challenge...

    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 320 persons 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 74 corporate members.