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  ISSUE 19/2013 28 August 2013  
Dear !*TITLE*! !*LASTNAME*!,

Hope you had a nice holiday season!

Our Yakatabune cruise tomorrow Thursday is completely fully booked with almost 100 participants. So at least by numbers, it is our largest own event in the 14 year history of the chamber.

But if you could not make it for the Yakatabune cruise, we have another interesting event coming up soon, the tour to the Nissan Oppama plant on Thursday, 12 September. Read more below and sign up soon! We will meet with Nissan on Friday morning and they want to have a tentative list of participants then, although it is still possible to add next week.

I also have the details for the luncheon meeting on Wednesday, 25 September with the new Finnair CEO, Pekka Vauramo. Read more about that too below.

Our retired (but now part-time senior advisor) papers salesman Timo Varhama has written a new contribution in his column Aoyama View, this time titled "IT'S HOT, HOT, HOT – BUT BASEBALL RULES ".
Click banner at right for an educating and entertaining read!

Thursday, 12 September - FCCJ Special Event
Tour to Nissan Oppama Plant in Kanagawa pref.

On Thursday, 12 September we will organize a new and exciting event, a visit to the Nissan Oppama Plant near Yokosuka in Kanagawa prefecture. In addition to the factory tour we will also have an opportunity to test drive the Nissan LEAF electric car, which is produced at the plant. So remember to bring your driver's license!

Date & Time:Thursday, 12 September, 09:00-12:00
Venue: Nissan Oppama Plant, Kanagawa Pref. [MAP]
Cost:3,000 yen (members only)
Registration:by Thursday, 29 August

How to get there
The easiest and fastest way to get to the Nissan Oppama plant is by taking Keikyu main line from Shinagawa to Oppama station which is just 1.4 km from the plant. That is why we do not organize a bus transportation from Tokyo, but ask each participants to take the train and arrive at Oppama station at latest 09:00. We will meet after the toll gate at the station. From the station we take cars, taxis or bus (T.B.D.) to the plant.

We suggest you to take one of the following train options:
  • Keikyu Main Line - 07:53 from Shinagawa arriving 08:47 at Oppama (direct train)
  • Keikyu Main Line - 08:07 from Shinagawa arriving 08:54 at Oppama (direct train)
  • JR Tokaido Main line - 08:12 from Shinagawa, change at Yokohama to Keikyu Main Line
         (08:33) arriving 08:54 at Oppama

  • About Nissan Oppama Plant
    The Oppama Plant is one of Nissan's three major vehicle manufacturing plants in Japan. Beginning operations in 1961, this plant was Japan's first fullscale integrated vehicle assembly plant. In 1970, it was the first domestic plant to introduce welding robots; later the Oppama Plant became a pioneer of flexible manufacturing systems. These innovations have led to its position today as a leader in automated manufacturing.
    In October 2010, the plant started producing Nissan LEAF, the first mass-produced electric vehicle. In addition to the Leaf the plant also produces the Juke and Cube models.

    The plant, including the Research Center, GRANDRIVE Proving Ground and Oppama Wharf, covers about 1.7, employs about 2,700 people and has a maximum production capacity of 480,000 cars a year (more than 1,300 a day).

    For more about the plant, click here.

    To register for the event, click link at right.

    Wednesday, 25 September - Joint Nordic Event organized by the FCCJ
    Luncheon meeting with Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo

    On Wednesday, 25 September the FCCJ will organize jointly with the other Nordic chambers a luncheon meeting with a prominent Finnish business leader, Mr. Pekka Vauramo, the new President of Finnair as our speaker. Mr. Vauramo will talk about Finnairfs Asia strategy: future steps.

    Date & Time: Wednesday, 25 September, 12.00-14:00
    Venue: Grand Hyatt Tokyo , Tarragon, 3F [MAP]
    Cost:6,000 yen for members, non-members 8,000 yen
    Registration:by Wednesday, 18 September

    About Pekka Vauramo
    Mr. Varamo, born in 1957, took up the position as CEO of Finnair Plc. on 1 June 2013.
    Before joining Finnair he was based in Hong Kong since 201 working as COO of the MacGregor Business Area of Cargotec, a Finnish cargo and load handling company. Since 2007 he has served in various positions at Cargotec, such as head of Cargotec's MacGregor Business, deputy CEO of Cargotec as well as head of the Kalmar Business Unit. Mr. Vauramo started his managerial career at Sandvik, a Swedish mining and construction company, where he worked from 1985 to 2007. Vauramo holds a M.Sc. (mining) degree from Helsinki University of Technology.

    About Finnair
    Finnair is one of the most innovative, safest and longest-operating airlines in the world. The airline specialises in flights between Asia and Europe, and its vision is to be the number one airline in the Nordic countries and the most desired option in Asian traffic. Finnair also strives to be among the three largest operators in transit traffic between Asia and Europe involving transfers during the trip. The growing Asian markets, fast flight connections and competitiveness form the foundation of Finnair's growth strategy. Finnair Group business areas are Airline Business, Aviation Services and Travel Services. The number of personnel is approximately 7,000. The subsidiaries provide support services to the Airline or operate in closely related areas.

    Finnish government is a major shareholder with a 55.8 per cent holding. Other shareholders include public bodies, financial institutions, private companies and households.

    We collect the luncheon fee at the hotel. Note that we have to invoice the lunch fee for cancellations after 13:00 on Friday, 20 September and "no-shows". To register, click link below.

    Friday, 4 October - The North-America - Europe Golf Challenge in Japan
    Mercedes-Benz Japan Cup 2013 - Registration Open!

    The 11th North America - Europe Golf Challenge in Japan, the Mercedes-Benz Japan Cup 2013, will be played on Friday, 4 October, at the same venue as in previous years, the Atsugi Kokusai Country Club in Kanagawa Prefecture.

    The organizing task-force and Mercedes Benz Japan are working hard to make the event a memorable one for all participants. Similar to last year JLPA pros will join us on the course and there will also be an "after-party", free for all players with spouses at, the Mercedes-Benz Connection in Nogizaka (close to Tokyo Midtown) on the week after the event.

    For more information and to sign-up as player and/or sponsor, please click link below.
    JMEC Business Training Program
    Now Seeking Participants for JMEC20!

    Improve your business skills—and gain more practical experience in a multinational, English language environment. Meet and learn directly from senior business executives and successful entrepreneurs in Tokyo. The Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC), which is sponsored by 17 foreign Chambers of Commerce in Japan, has been offering its unique business training program for 20 years. The program helps mid-career managers develop practical skills and hands-on experience to create a complete business plan for a real product or service.

    However, the White Paper production depends on kind financial contributions from our members and supporters to help cover the costs of production, translation, and distribution.

    Sign up for JMEC 20 Information Sessions on August 29, September 5, 12, and 17, October 2 and 10. Meet and talk to former JMEC participants at these sessions. Please come and join us—and learn more about the program! JMEC20 Participants deadline is October 15, 2013

    Please click link at right for more information.
    Production of EBC's Year 2013 White Paper
    - Request for Sponsorship & Advance Orders

    This year, the EBC will again produce the EBC White Paper, its hallmark annual report on the business and investment environment, in English and Japanese, for release in mid November. This will be the 13th in the series. With the EU-Japan FTA negotiations underway, the White Paper will serve as a valuable reference for both our Japanese and European interlocutors.

    However, the White Paper production depends on kind financial contributions from our members and supporters to help cover the costs of production, translation, and distribution.

    We are requesting EBC members and supporters to contribute as Pinnacle Sponsors, Gold-Star Sponsors, Blue-Star Sponsors, Special Sponsors or Sponsors in return for visible acknowledgment in both the English and Japanese versions as indicated below. Pinnacle, Gold-Star and Blue-Star sponsor logos will be placed on the EBC homepage and all sponsor logos will be placed on a dedicated page in our website for 12 months from publication.

    The EBC will also take advance orders for the white papers at 5,000 yen for one set (1 English and 1 Japanese version per set) as another form of sponsorship to assist with cost-recovery. Companies placing advance orders will be listed in the white paper as Supporters.

    Please click link at right for more information and to sign-up as sponsor or make advance orders.
    News from Finland

    Consumers guarded on economy; business outlook bleak

    Finnish consumers are slightly more optimistic about the economy compared to last August, but compared to the long term average they are still wary of placing too much confidence in economic developments. Business meanwhile continues to take a dim view of the economy.

    Data published by Statistics Finland Tuesday indicate that consumer confidence in the economy remains weak, with the confidence indicator standing unchanged at 5, the same as in July.

    Compared to last August when the indicator came in at 0.5, consumers were clearly more optimistic this month. However confidence lagged way behind the long-term average of 12.3.

    Business confidence continues decline
    Meanwhile a business tendency survey conducted by the private sector business lobby the Confederation of Finnish Enterprises EK found that confidence in the economy stood lower than the long term average in the industrial, construction, services and retail sectors.

    New projects in the construction sector were fewer than usual, flagging possible retrenchments in the field. The industrial sector also had a thinner order book and production forecasts were conservative.

    Confidence in the services sector took a turn for the worse, while in the retail industry poor sales with little prospect of recovery dealt a heavy blow to confidence in the sector.

    Grin of the Week

    The Smart Guy

    Two men were walking through the woods when a large bear walked out into the clearing no more than 20 meters in front of them. The first man dropped his backpack and dug out a pair of running shoes, then began to furiously attempt to lace them up as the bear slowly approached them.

    The second man looked at the first, confused, and said, "What are you doing? Running shoes aren't going to help, you can't outrun that bear."

    "I don't need to," said the first man, "I just need to outrun you."
    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 64 corporate members, 12 individual and one special member.