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  ISSUE 12/2012 26 April 2012  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Ahead the Golden Week there's a lot of things to inform about, both past and coming events, so hope you have time to scroll trough all and not jump straight to Grin of the Week...;-)

For those not familiar with the Japanese calendar and holidays a brief guide to Golden Week;    a string of holidays starting with the Showa Day (birthday of the previous emperor) on 29 April, but as this is a Sunday, Monday 30 is holiday instead. 3 May is the Constitution Memorial Day and 5 May Children's Day. The day in between, i.e. 4 May was declared Greenery Day in 2007 to make the workaholic Japanese take more days off. So when there's only two working days (1, 2 May) from Saturday 28 April to Sunday 6 May, many workplaces close for the whole period, not FCCJ though...

Left Stora Enso's Tuomo Kuuppo (no.2 in the competition) presents the trophy to Sakari Romu (no.1), FCCJ Tomoichi Onishi (no. 2) and Hiroaki Sugawara (no. 3). Behind SCCJ's Eiji Takagi.
Friday, 20 April - SCCJ-FCCJ Golf Challenge
FCCJ takes back the Stora Enso Cup!

The 20th Stora Enso Cup, the golf challenge between the Swedish and Finnish Chambers was played on Friday, 20 April at Taiheiyo Club Gotemba West in Shizuoka Prefecture. The event was played in quite nice spring weather, mostly cloudy, a few drops of rain but warm enough for a fine day of golf.

36 players participated in the competition (17 from FCCJ , 19 from SCCJ), including four guests. Notable was that 19 (more than half) of the players were Japanese.

The Finnish Chamber came on now top after the SCCJ had taken the previous Cup. This FCCJ beat the Swedish Chamber by a fairly large margin, 3.8 strokes on average per player, 80.2 versus 84.0 as average for the best 80% in each team. The FCCJ now has two more wins than the SCCJ, 11 against 9.

The best golfer on the day was, with some margin, Sakari Romu (FCCJ) who was Best Net (71), Best Gross (79) and also took one near pin prize.

For a full report from the event, click links at right!

The 21st Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Survey
"Ascending at a Steady Pace"

The Foreign Chambers in Japan (FCIJ) has been conducting Business Confidence surveys online twice a year since 2002 among foreign-affiliated companies in Japan. This, the 21st, survey was conducted between April 10 and 20, 2012, and received 325 valid responses from members of 17 foreign chambers of commerce and business organizations.
The survey was run and processed on behalf of all the chambers by the FCCJ.

This survey shows, as could be seen already in the Fall 2011 survey, that the problems and uncertainties caused by the 3.11 disaster are now to a large extent behind and now 3.11. is more seen as an opportunity than a threat. All indexes, from views on the Japanese economy to the performance of the companies, as well as their forecasts for the future, rose about 15-25% from the Fall 2011 survey. Only the profitability forecast for the next 6 months was same as in the previous survey, but still showed a healthy index of +0.68 on the scale from -2 (strong decline) to +2 (strong improvement).

The strategies of the foreign-affiliated companies in Japan continue to be rather bullish. 73% (68% in the fall 2011 survey) are looking for further growth and 22% are expecting to sustain their current level and 4% downsizing. Only 1% (four companies out of the surveyed 325) considers withdrawing from Japan.

For the full report, click links at right!

Wednesday, 16 May
Giving Back To Japan 2: Community Leaders Report

During the past 12 months, a great deal of progress has been made in terms of relieving people's immediate needs, yet years of reconstruction stretch ahead in Tohoku. And while the Government of Japan is of necessity first addressing major infrastructural needs, the view from the region's cities and towns is understandably more focused on the minutiae of repairing the social fabric of communities that have literally been torn asunder.

On May 16, 2012, The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce and Tohoku Planning Forum, supported by 16 national chambers of commerce and Hitotsubashi University ICS, will present GIVING BACK TO JAPAN 2: Community Leaders Report, a public forum featuring leaders of cities and towns across Tohoku, whose communities face different reconstruction issues and are at different stages of reconstruction.

The speakers will be the following mayors: Mr. Kimiaki Toda (Ofunato), Mr. Kiichi Numazaki (Yamada), Mr. Hidetoshi Watanabe (Aizu Misato), Mr. Tsuneaki Iguchi (Iwanuma), Mr. Yoshiaki Suda (Onagawa).

Television and radio presenter Peter Barakan will guide a discussion about communities' rebuilding processes and ongoing needs, as well as allowing the elected officials to present their suggestions for ways in which individuals and organizations can help their communities toward their goal.

Date & Time:Wednesday, 16 May, 17:30-20:00
Venue: Hitotsubashi Memorial Hall, 2F 2-1-2 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo MAP
Cost:Free entrance. Contributions (to reconstruction-focused charities) welcomed.
Registration:by Thursday, 10 May

Sign up soon to secure a place as our quota is only 18 seats! Note that due to space restrictions, this is a members' only event.

Wednesday, 23 May
Joint Nordic Chambers Networking Event

On the occasion of the opening the Tokyo SkyTree on 22 May, the Swedish Chamber has secured a premium venue for a great view to the SkyTree and the Tokyo night from Restaurant Luke, located on the 47th floor with an open terrace in the Luke Tower in Tsukiji, Chuo-ku.

This is a joint Networking Event with other Nordic Chambers, SWEA (Swedish Women's Educational Association) and YCN (Young Chambers Network).

The event will be from 19:00 to 21:00 - 2 hours of free food and free drinks for a favourable discounted cost of 5,000 yen (normal cost 7,500 yen).
After the event, there will be cash bar for everyone who wishes to stay longer.

Date & Time:Wednesday, 23 May, 19.00-21:00
Venue: Restaurant Luke, St. Luke's Garden 47F,
8-1, Akashicho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo MAP
Cost: 5,000 yen - collected at the door
Registration:by Thursday, 17 May

Sign up soon (click link at right) to secure a place as our quota is limited!
Note that due to space restrictions, this is a members' only event.

Thursday, 10 May - German Chamber Event
Japan Outlook 2012 Towards 2020
- Asia's Sleeping Giant Awakes

Speaker: Jesper Koll, JPMorgan, Managing Director of Japan Research

"Japan is about to develop significant positive surprises in the immediate future"
Jesper Koll will draw an image of Japan's future probable development and opportunities, based on his rich and long-term experiences in the domestic market. Referring to the country's prevailing political and economical position, he will address various factors which will altogether shape Japan's future in the coming years.

Date & Time:Thursday, 10 May, 12.00-14:00
Venue: Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Tarragon Room, 3F MAP
Cost: 6,000 yen
Registration:by Wednesday, 2 May

Jesper Koll is rated as one of the top Japan strategists/economists for two decades now. Researching and investing in Japan since 1986, he served as Chief Economist for Merrill Lynch (Japan), was a Managing Director at the Tiger Fund, worked as the Chief Economist for JP Morgan (Japan). He is also one of the few non-Japanese members of the Keizai Doyukai, the Japan Association of Corporate Executives.

For more information and to sign up (directly with the German Chamber), click link below.

Tuesday, 15 May - Joint Event organized by the Canadian Chamber
Venture Capital: New Opportunities

The scarcity of real venture capital in Japan has created an opportunity for Venture Capital firms that are seeking quality Japan-based firms and opportunities to invest in. Three leading Venture Capital firm representatives will make presentations on the type of investment opportunities they are seeking and how recipient firms can successfully access them. Don't miss this ground-breaking opportunity!

Following the seminar from 8-10pm, the CCCJ has arranged for a networking reception which will include a delicious spread of fine foods and all-you-can-drink beverages to network over.


n Mr. Kaushal Chokshi, president of Scaale International (Silicon Valley based VC) on how to attract venture capital investment and support for companies in China, India, Viet Nam and other key overseas markets.
n David Sternis, Associate, Aster (a Schneider VC affiliate). An introduction of Aster and what kind of firms/opportunities it is looking to invest in
One more speaker TBC.

Event Outline
Date & Time:Tuesday, 15 May
Seminar - 18:00 to 20:00
Post-Seminar Networking - 20:00 pm to 22:00
Venue: Aoyama Robbin's Club MAP
Cost:Members: 7,000 yen, Guests: 8,000 yen (Includes post-seminar networking event)
Seminar only: Members: 2,000 yen, Guests: 3,000 yen
Registration:by Wednesday, 9 May

For more information and to sign up (directly with the Canadian Chamber), click link below.

News from Finland

Government wins vote of confidence on Greece bailout

The government has won a vote of confidence over its contribution to the Greek bail-out fund. A total of 86 MPs supported the government with 56 parliamentarians voting against.

The vote of confidence followed an interpellation measure criticising the government for supporting the recently negotiated bail-out fund for Greece. The motion was tabled by the Finns Party and backed by the entire opposition.

A debate on the motion took place on Tuesday but Parliament voted on the issue on Wednesday.

Grin of the Week

Comparable worth

Larry's barn burned down, and Susan, his wife, called the insurance company ...
Susan: We had that barn insured for fifty thousand and I want my money.

Agent: Whoa there just a minute, Susan; it doesn't work quite like that. We will ascertain the value of the old barn and provide you with a new one of comparable worth.

Susan, after a pause: I'd like to cancel the life insurance policy on my husband.
Have a great Golden 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 62 corporate members, 12 individual and one special member.