If this bulletin does not open properly in your mail reader, open http://www.fcc.or.jp/email/2906.html in your browser. FCCJ E-mail bulletin: ISSUE 14 * JUNE 29, 2001

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  ISSUE 14

29 June, 2001  


You call this the rainy season...?
The only wet we have expericenced in Tokyo for the last week is our own sweat... it's hot!
But rain; please stay away for at least a couple of days more...

Our businesses this week;

Report from June Luncheon Meeting
The last Luncheon meeting before the summer break was held on Friday 15 June at Capitol Tokyu Hotel.
Mr. Kimbara focused on the two main issues in Japan's foreign trade policy, i.e. WTO should remain the central pillar, and Free Trade Agreements (FTA).
According to Kinbara, Japan has gained more from free trade than any other industrialized country, and therefor it is Japan's obligation to support the efforts of the WTO.
Regarding FTA, Mr. Kinbara drew a picture where in ten years time of the major industrial nations only Japan and South Korea would be outside any free trade agreement.
For more about the luncheon meeting, including more images and the map on FTA, click link at right.
August Luncheon Meeting
There will be no monthly luncheon meeting in July as many of the Finnish executive are on their summer leave in Finland.
Our August meeting will be held on Friday 28 August at 12:00 at Capitol Tokyu Hotel
This time the theme will be "The Finnish Log House Business in Japan", which has almost a 30 year tradition. The first Finnish log house were brought to Japan in 1973.
As speaker we have Marko Saarelainen, President, Honka Japan Inc.
Marko has done log house business in Japan for more than 10 years, so he knows his subject inside-out.

Mika Mäkinen on the move
Mika Mäkinen will move from Elektrobit Nippon K.K. to Elcoteq Japan Co.,Ltd. from 1 July 2001, initially to take up position as Vice President.
Elektrobit Nippon K.K.'s operations will be driven by Mr. Yukio Ito who will work as Product Business Manager and by Mr. Katsufumi Orima, who will work as R&D Business Manager.

To find out more about Elektrobit Nippon and Elcoteq, please click logos below.
Mika Mäkinen has also accepted new responsibilities at FCCJ. At the AGA he was elected auditor, but upon the departure of Jouni Asikainen from Japan, Mika would take over positions in our organization held by Jouni, i.e. chairmanship of the Event Committee and our representative in JMEC (Japan Market Entry Competition).

EBC White Paper
This is a reminder of the notice we had in the bulletin a few weeks back. regarding the EBC White Paper 2001.
Thanks to the high quality of the 2000 White Paper, the EBC is now increasingly regarded by the Japanese government and by the EBC's Japanese and foreign counterpart organisations as a "one-stop" point of contact for discussion and collaboration and as a European counterpart to the American industry presence in Japan.
Accordingly, the EBC has decided that production of a Year 2001 version of the white paper should have the highest priority among EBC's activities this year.
In order to produce English and Japanese white papers simultaneously for release in September, the EBC has decided to take orders for the white papers.

PURCHASE OF WHITE PAPERS (including postage):
  • 5,000 yen per copy
    If you would would like to order copies, please click link to the right and print out the form and return it to the EBC secretariat by fax 03-3263-6223.
    Golf in Finland
    Finnair, the Finnish-Japanese Chamber of Commerce and the Embassy of Japan in Finland organize the Japan Golf Day Tournament on Thursday, August 23 at Master Golf - Forest Course in Espoo.
    The first 60 to register will be accepted and notified. Registration by August 6th, 2001 to japangolf@finnair.fi
    If you happen to be in Finland on that day and would be interested to participate, click link below.
    From other Organizations
    • "Foundations of Corporate Empire: Is History Repeating Itself?" - by Professor Karl Moore, McGill University
      At this evening seminar, organized by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan, professor Moore will probe intyo the commerce of the past and draw a number of persuasive conclusions from the long, rich history of globalization. His talk is based on his bestselling book.
      • Thursday 5th July, 2001 6.30pm-9.30pm
      • Square Kojimachi, 5F, Fuyo Room
      • Participation fee: 2,500 yen
      • Registration by 3 July
      For more information on the event, click link to the right to email us for info.
    • "Human Resources Practice in Japan - myths and realities" by Carol McGregor, Director - PricewaterhouseCoopers HR
      Organized by the Australian & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan.
      Ms. McGregor has over 20 years experience in the arena of human resources. Her core competencies span the areas of HR Strategy, Organizational design and development, HR Change management, large scale project management and HR risk management in Asian focused M&A related transactions.
      • Tuesday 10th July, 2001 6.30pm-9.30pm
      • Australian Embassy - B2 Reception
      • Participation fee: 5,000 yen (including a buffet meal and refreshments)
      • Registration by 6 July
      For more information on the event, click link to the right to email us for info.
    News from Finland
    Prices still rising
    Economists at Sampo insurance company slashed their estimate of GDP growth this year from March's figure of 4.1 % to 3.3 %, amid concern over sluggish exports and rising inflation. But like the IMF, they say this is normal. Exports should rise by 4 % but inflation will reach 3 %, slightly above the 2.8 % it expects for the euro zone. Sampo called for greater vigilance against rising prices, which it fears could spur pay increases. The annual rate in May was 3.4 %.

    Unemployment rose in May from April but fell by 0. 6 % from the year before. Statistics Finland said 304,000 were jobless, 18,000 fewer than the year before, meaning 11.3 % were out of work. But while there were 12 % more vacancies this May than last, unemployment remained highest among 15 to 24 year olds.

    For more news, click link to the right.

    Grin of the Week
    Machine translations
    What happens when an English phrase is translated by computer back and forth between 5 different languages? ... Translation software is almost good enough to turn grammatically correct, slang-free text from one language into grammatically incorrect, barely readable approximations in another. But the software is not equipped for 10 consecutive translations of the same piece of text. The resulting half-English, half-foreign, and totally non sequitur response bears almost no resemblance to the original.
    Here are some examples from the paragraphs above....
    • Original: The Finnish Log House Business in Japan
    • Translated: Finnish commerce of the space of the logarithm of Naperian in Japan

    • Original:Japan has gained more from free trade than any other industrialized country
    • Translated: Japan won more of the free interchange that each or possible other industrialized the country

    • Original: Unemployment rose in May from April but fell by 0. 6 % from the year before.
    • Translated:Unemployment was, ignited in May in date an April nevertheless that lowered of 0. 6 %es of the front part annually.
    Want to try your own translation weirdness? Check out:

    I wish you a nice weekend, and for those on holiday, or starting their holiday, enjoy it, and charge your battieries. But remember, batteries do not necessarily require CH3CH2OH, although it might prevent them from freezing if you go to cold place....

    Best regards

    Clas G. Bystedt

    If you have any comments, rumors, gossip or inside information,
    send it to 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 280 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.