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  ISSUE 4/2002

29 January, 2002  


I hope you would not consider my weekly e-mail bulletins as junk-mail. But as every decent person sending mass-mail, I should give you an easy option to be removed from this list. If so, click  HERE and the click "send". That's it, and I promise I will not get offended if you find out that you have better things to do than to read my bulletins ;-)

More about junk-mail, "The Fraud out of Africa", at the end of this mail....

February Luncheon Meeting
Date & Time:Friday, 15 February, 12.00 -14.00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, Take Room
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at door)
Our guest speaker is Mr. Makoto Sasagawa, General Manager, Sales & Marketing Department, Europe Division, Toyota Motor Corporation.
The theme of his presentation is:
"Toyota in Europe as well as in Nordic countries (history and future, Toyota's strategy)". Mr. Sasagawa has also promised to give some comments on Toyota's entry into Formula 1.
Invitations have been mailed out, but if you would like to register online now, click link at right.
If you would like to check if you are on the list and see who else has already registered, click HERE .

SCCJ Business Luncheon - last reminder
Date & Time: Monday, 4 February, 12:00-14:00
Place: International House
5-11-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Cost:6,000 yen
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan, jointly with DCCJ, FCCJ and NBF, offer you a rare opportunity to listen to Mr. Jörgen Lindegaard, President and CEO of  Scandinavian Airlines 
To register, click link at right at latest by noon on Thursday 31st.

FCCJ Seminar:
Tax Issues for Expatriates
Date & Time:Fri 1 or Mon. 4 March 18:00-20:00
Place: Nippon Finnpap, Akasaka, Tokyo
Cost:5,000 yen (incl. light meal)
It is soon taxation time for most expats. To give you an insight in the Japanese taxation, and some valuable tips, 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.
Preliminary content
  • 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

  • We have still two options for the date (see above), so when you register, please inform which date you prefer, or if both are OK.
    EBC Seminar:
    Corporate Tax Reform in Japan
    Date & Time:Wednesday, 27 February, 17:00-19:00
    Place: EU-Japan Centre
    Cost:2,000 yen
    The corporate tax regime in Japan is undergoing a period of fundamental change. Tax facilitated corporate reorganisations were introduced in FY2001, and a consolidated tax system will be retroactively be introduced for FY2002. How will these changes affect your business? What are the advantages and disadvantages of these reforms?
    Join experts from the EBC's Tax Committee in an open session exploring these issues. A Q&A session will form part of the event.
    For more about the seminar, and registration form, click link at right.

    Do you need bilingual part-time IT/Network Support?
    A young Finnish IT professional, Mr. Leo Linnamaa, is looking for an opportunity to work for a Finnish company in Japan. As it seems to be difficult for him to find a full time position, and as a couple of FCCJ member companies have already basically agreed to hire him for one day a week each, we are now trying to help him to find other companies that might need similar kind of services, i.e. IT/Network support on a flexible, part-time basis.
    Mr. Linnamaa's fileds of expertise include:
  • data security & secured connections
  • tailored IT/Network support
  • server & workstation support
  • software & Hardware solutions
  • Java based web solutions
    Mr. Linnamaa would be available from May and he speaks some Japanese, and learning more fast.
    If you would like to discuss this idea further, drop me a mail by clicking link at right.
    News from Finland
    Upwardly mobile
    Happy Christmas Nokia. The season's sales boosted earnings even beyond its own hopes, giving it a pro forma profit after financial items for 2001 of EUR 5.35 billion. The mobile phone maker increased turnover from EUR 30.4 billion in 2000 to EUR 31.2 billion, and managed to raise its world market share by 5 percentage points to 37 %.

    But the global recession also took its toll. Despite higher fourth quarter profitability in both its mobile phone and network sectors themselves, amounting to an operating profit of EUR 1.6 billion in just three months, other one-off costs and writeoffs slashed overall profitability almost in half. In fact even turnover shrank in the last quarter from the year before.

    Grin of the Week
    Fraud Out of Africa
    Of all the e-mail junk that floods my inbox, some of my favorites starts with a sob story by some guy in Africa who weaves a fantastic tale invariably leading to a big stash of money that the author cannot access without my help. If I help, he'll pay me 25%. The stories are entertaining and the the plot is incredible. Even more entertaining is the notion that people actually fall for these obvious cons.

    In security circles, they are known as AFF 419. "AFF" stands for advanced fee fraud. The "419" part is the penal code covering this kind of fraud in Nigeria, where it originated. In Nigeria, people just call it "419." Everybody there knows about it. But not everybody outside of Nigeria does, which is why it still works. Incredibly, 419 fraud is the fourth largest industry in Nigeria. It's a huge, global scam that millions are exposed to, mostly in Europe and the Americas.

    At some point, you're asked to come up some cash as an "advance" fee, tax, bond, credit or some other bogus reason. If you do send money, they'll know they have you on the hook and will follow up with tales of complications that require still more cash. And then it gets serious, and many times dangerous. A few weeks back there was a story in a Finnsh tabloid about a Finn who got himself invloved in such a scheme. He traveled to Africa, got kidnapped for refusing to put up the money, and subsequently murdered.

    In case you have not seen these and are curious to find out, one is here and another here .
    And if you want to read more about these frauds, go  HERE .

  • The lesson to be learned from the above is; read the stories if you have time while having coffee, but do nothing more... than move them to your trash-bin!

    Until next week...
    Best regards

    Clas G. Bystedt

    PS. Almost forgot one thing...
    If you want to know about the continuing adventures of our old friend and ex-FCCJ President Rauno Sirola, click  HERE 

    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 300 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.