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  ISSUE 6/2006

27 February 2006  


If you have been following the Winter Olympics from Torino, you might suffer from a lack of sleep now - well, if you are in Japan. For my readers in Finland it might have meant some missed working hours...

Both Finland and Japan had limited success at the games, although Japan's "honor" was saved by Shizuka Arakawa, winning the gold in women's figure skating. But that was the only medal Japan got. Finland got nine, but no gold.

The Japanese media tried to take most out of the gold medal, claiming it was won in the premier Olympic event. Some Finns, and of course most Swedes now, would perhaps claim the premier event is ice hockey. Although we might want to forget the result of the final last night between the friendly Nordic neighbors. Rematch at Windsor Par G & C.C. on 14 April, although each player then carry 14 clubs...

Report Luncheon Meeting with Markus Kajo

At the February luncheon meeting our guest speaker was Mr. Markus Kajo, Producer, Writer, Announcer from the Finnish Broadcasting Company - Yleisradio (YLE). He set the tone of the luncheon by stating at the beginning: "I am going to make my presentation in English, because some of you do not understand Japanese, including myself".

Mr. Kajo and his crew of three is in Japan to make a series of 10 programs for YLE2 channel about the "wonders of Japan". Mr. Kajo explained about the background to the program, what they hope to achieve with it, and he also gave some examples of "wonders" that they are planning to cover in the programs. After his presentation there was a lively discussion with new ideas on what could be included in the series.

To find out more about the luncheon, attended by 35 members and guests, click link below.
Wed. 8 March - Visit to IKEA Store in Funabashi organized by the Swedish Chamber


On June 11th, 2004, Tommy Kullberg had a presentation for the Nordic Chambers at International house where he elaborated around the IKEA plans and challenges ahead.

Since then the hatching Australian migration birds have left the Funabashi construction site after duly being named and counted by the Japanese ornithologists. They have now been replaced with 500 IKEA co-workers completing the store for the grand opening on April 24. It will be one of the biggest IKEA stores in the world with 2300 parking places and a Swedish restaurant with more than 700 seats.


18:00Gathering at the main entrance of the IKEA store (facing Minami-Funabashi Station)
MAP in English     MAP in Japanese
By car: Parking available in the store
Train: to Minami-Funabashi approx. 30 minutes from Tokyo Station by Keiyo Line and 5 minutes walk
18:15 Welcome by Tommy Kullberg, President & CEO, IKEA Japan K.K.
18:30Presentation of the IKEA Funabashi Store by Gordon Gustavsson, Store Manager
18:45Touring the facilities incl. the Children's Daycare Center
19:45Q & A - Drinks & Snacks are by courtesy of IKEA Japan K.K.

NOTE: There will be a special pre-opening for spouses and friends when the store is completed. Preliminary date is set to April 20. On that occasion there will be shopping opportunities.

We only have got 5 more slots for FCCJ, so if you would like to participate and have not yet register, please click link below.
Due to limited space, this event is for members (and member company representatives) only.
Tue. 7 March - CCCJ Evening Guest Speaker :
Challenging the Coffee Industry in Japan
Hitoshi Suga, Vice chairman, Tully's Coffee Japan Co., Ltd.

Securing venture capital is a major challenge and the training ground is littered with casualties. How did a small start-up without a track record or incorporated company, succeed in securing funding and, in a short time, become one of the three dominant players in the coffee market in Japan?


Date & Time:Tuesday 7 March, 18:30 - 20:30
Place: Canadian Embassy Theatre    MAP
Cost:Members: 3,500 yen, Guests: 4,000 yen
Registration:Friday, 3 March

Starting from just one store in Tokyo's Ginza area, Tully's Coffee Japan has grown quickly in a coffee market that comprises 7,500 stores in total and is estimated to be worth 1.5 trillion Japanese yen. Today, Tully's has over 193 stores throughout Japan.

Hitoshi Suga, vice chairman and board member, Tully's Coffee Japan Co., Ltd./FoodX Globe Co., Ltd., will explain how an unusual approach by a Japanese venture capital company led to the formation of a new venture that would be responsible for the entire business and its growth to the point where it now challenges Starbucks.

To register, please click link at right.
Tue. 14 March - EBC Human Resource Seminar:
Are you considering hiring non-Japanese employees?

At a seminar arranged by the EBC Human Resources Committee and JAC Japan, Mr. Billy Kobayashi of JAC Japan will discuss what you as employer should consider when you hire non-Japanese personnel in Japan. The presentation will be based on his cultural experience of hiring mainly Asian employees here and touch upon issues such as which nationalities live here, what kind of skill they possess and what they are mainly studying in Japan. Mr. Richard Mason, Chairman of the EBC's Human Resources Committee, will also introduce to you the activities of the EBC Human Resources Committee. Refreshments and drinks will be served after the presentation.


Date & Time:Tuesday 14 March, 19:00 - 20:30
Place: JAC Japan
York Seminar room, Jinbocho Mitsui Building 14F,
1-105, Kanda Jinbocho. Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0051    MAP
News from Finland

Former Nokia CEO sets up free WLan in central Helsinki

The centre of Helsinki is to have its first free open-air wireless local area network (WLan), used to gain access to the internet, in the beginning of next month. Kalle Isokallio, the author-columnist who is behind the project, told the Finnish News Agency (STT) that two things had motivated him to build the network.

First, Finland should not have to be ashamed of its capital lacking a wide-area WLan during the upcoming EU presidency. He also wanted to demonstrate to the big operators that a single person, helped by a couple of friends, could set up such a network.

"The only thing I stand to gain from this is a cheerful mood," Mr Isokallio, head of telecommunications giant Nokia until 1991, told STT.

Called OpenEspa, the network covers the area of the Market Square and the Esplanad park.

Oulu, a city of some 127,000 people, has been providing a free WLan called panOULU since 2003. With about 300 base stations, the network covers the entire city centre as well as many locations beyond it and is being continually expanded.
Grin of the week

The true nature of (golfing) men...

I have got some criticism from some (well, at least one...) of my female readers who complained that my "Grins of the week" sometimes (often?) express old stereotype male-chauvinistic views. But the below movie was too hilarious to leave out... and it brushes up your German...

Download movie (Windows Media file, 2.2 MB)

My thanks goes to my friend M.V. who sent this file. Note that it represents neither his, nor my personal views....

Have a good week, with a lot of sleep!

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.