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  ISSUE 3/2006

27 January 2006  


An unusually cold winter, I think you would agree either you are in Japan or Finland. During my 17.5 years in Japan, this is the first time to experience seeing snow outside my office window for almost a week, and it seems like it wouldn't melt away anytime soon. But at least in Tokyo, the skies are clear and sunny.

Let's hope also Finland could enjoy fine weather on Sunday, when the decisive voting in the presidential elections take place. The elections, which indicated an easy win for President Halonen a couple of months ago seems to become a close race after all (read more in the news section below).

But now to this weeks issues.

Report from the FCCJ Club Evening at Juniper Café & Bar

The FCCJ activities in 2006 started off with a "shinnenkai" party and club evening at the Juniper Café & Bar at Grand Hyatt at Roppingi Hills on Thursday 19 January.

This was the third time to organize a club evening at Grand Hyatt and the event, and venue, seems to become more and more popular, this time we had a record attendance for a club evening of 55 members and guests.

The participants enjoyed good food and meeting with old and new friends, about half of the participants were first-timers at an FCCJ event.

For more images from the evening, click link at right.
Tue. 21 February - FCCJ Luncheon Meeting with Markus Kajo

At our next luncheon meeting we will have as our guest speaker Mr. Markus Kajo, writer, producer and announcer at YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company) TV2 .

Mr. Kajo is in Japan to produce a series of 10 programs for the Finnish TV on "the wonders of Japan", from the latest in technology to karaoke. Mr. Kajo will explain about the project but we will also have an opportunity to discuss and bring forwards ideas which we have about what should be included in the program series.


Date & Time:Tuesday 21 February12:00-14:00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto Room, B2F
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Registration:by Fri. 17 February

  Profile of Markus Kajo
Markus Kajo was born in 1957 Isojoki in Ostrobotnia. He started his career at the Finnish News Agency STT as a local correspondent and moved to YLE in the early 1980's, first working in radio, then in YLE TV1 entertainment and since 1986 YLE TV2 entertainment as producer, writer and announcer.

He has also published several books, the latest publication is titled "Kettusen paluu: Ihmisen kasikirja" translates roughly as "The Manual of Man", or "Mr. K's Handbook of Homo Sapiens Sapiens Melancholicissimus",

If you would like to register now, please click link at right.
Fri. 3 February - Lunch Seminar on the Japanese Economy at the MFJ

The Maison Franco Japonaise, Nichi-Futsu Kaikan is organizing a lunch seminar titled "The Lost Decade and the Coming Decade" with Mr. Takatoshi Ito, The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.

Japan has suffered from a prolonged period of stagnation and malaise since 1991. In Reviving Japan's Economy, edited by T. Ito, H. Patrick & D. E. Weinstein (The MIT Press, 2005), 16 top American and Japanese experts analyze Japan's underperforming economy, and develop and recommend policy solutions aimed at achieving Japan's growth potential, improving the quality of life for the Japanese people, and strengthening Japan's contribution to the global economy.


Date & Time:Friday 3 February  12:30-13:30
Place: Maison Franco Japonaise (Nichi-Futsu Kaikan), Ebisu, room 601 (6 F) MAP
  Profile of Takatoshi Ito
Professor at Tokyo University, has also been Vice-Minister of Finance at the Japanese Ministry of Finance and worked for IMF. He is a specialist of International finance and of Central banking theory. He is the author of numerous articles and books, among others: The Japanese Economy (The MIT Press, 1992); Financial Policy and Central banking in Japan (The MIT Press, 2000); International Trade in East Asia (The University of Chicago Press, 2005).
Please note that this is a "brown bag lunch seminar" (please bring your sandwiches or "bento").

The participation to the Lunch Seminar is free but registration is strictly required. Click link at right for more information.
News from Finland

Finland's Halonen maintains lead, MTV3 poll suggests

President Tarja Halonen, the left-leaning candidate in the second round of the Finnish presidential election, appears to have consolidated her lead ahead Sauli Niinisto, the Conservative challenger.

According to the results of a poll made public by commercial broadcaster MTV3 on Wednesday, the incumbent has the support of 55 per cent of the electorate, leaving Mr Niinisto with 45 per cent.

The figures are unchanged from the previous MTV3 poll, which was broadcast last week.

However, the number of undecided voters grew to 37 per cent from last week's 32 per cent.

The poll indicates that of the Centre Party supporters who said they had decided who to vote for, 87 per cent would vote for Mr Niinisto. But 33 per cent of Centre Party supporters did not name a second-round preference.
Grin of the week

Letter home from School

Dear Dad,
$chool i$ really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and $tudying very hard. With all my $tuff, I $imply can't think of anything I need, $o if you would like, you can ju$t $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear from you.
Love, Your $on.

Dear Son,
I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics, and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep even an hoNOr student busy. Do NOt forget that the pursuit of kNOwledge is a NOble task, and you can never study eNOugh.
Love, Dad

Have a nice weekend and

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 600 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, 16 individual and one special member.