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  ISSUE 12/2002

29 March, 2002  


The fiscal year ends on a sour note...at least what comes to the weather here in Tokyo. But we have been promised better weather for next week and for the new fiscal year, hope the improvement also would include economy...
Today is the Good Friday in Finland, and for that sake in most of the western world. So no need to sit late in the office and wait for phone calls from head office tonight. But you might be busy closing the books.
Read more about Easter at the end of this bulletin.

April Luncheon Meeting
Richard Collasse and Chanel No.5
Date & Time:Thursday, 25 April, 12.00 -14.00
Place: Capitol Tokyu Hotel, B1 Fl., Nikko Room
Cost:7,000 yen (collected at the door)
Our guest speaker is Mr. Richard Collasse, Chairman of the EBC (European Business Community) and President of Chanel K.K.
Sitting on two important chairs, Mr. Collasse will also have two themes for his presentation:
  • EBC, how to sharpen the tool
  • Chanel, a Global Company in Japan
    Richard Collasse has spent more than 20 years in Japan. From 1975 to 1977 he served at the French Embassy in Tokyo and after he held positions at Akai France and Givenchy in Japan. In 1985 he joined Chanel K.K. as Director and has served the company since then, except for a period as Managing Director of Chanel Limited in Hong Kong (1993-95). In 1995 he was appointed President of Chanel K.K. Mr Collasse was elected chairman of the EBC in December 2001.

    We will mail out invitations early next week, but if you would like to register now, please click link at right.
    May Luncheon Meeting
    Jaakko Iloniemi
    Our May Luncheon meeting will be held on Tuesday 21 May (12:00-14:00) at the Capitol Tokyu Hotel, B2 Floor, Take Room.
    On that occasion our guest speaker will be a prominent expert and opinion leader on the Finnish economy and society, Minister Jaakko Iloniemi, who will give us some of his visions of the future of Finland.

    Please mark this date in your calendar already now, we will provide further information in due course.

    The FCIG is an informal group for the foreign business organizations in Japan for information exchange and joint projects.
    FCIG Business Confidence Survey
    I would like to inform you about a new and quite exciting project starting next week.
    As you may recall, FCCJ has conducted Business Barometer Surveys twice a year, in April and in October. Now the Foreign Chambers Information Group (FCIG), has decided to adopt this survey and conduct it among the members of each organization. So far the following chambers have decided to participate: American, Australia & New Zealand, British, Belgium & Luxemburg, Canadian, Danish, Finnish, Italian and Swedish Chambers and the Austrian Business Council, Enterprise Ireland and the Embassy of Spain.

    The survey is created and conducted by the FCCJ Office, supported by a Task Force appointed by the FCIG. This task force will also, assisted by economists, make analysis of the results, to create a Foreign Chambers Business Confidence Barometer.
    The survey results will be published at a joint luncheon meeting mid-May.
    We will send out information on how to participate in the survey to our members coming Tuesday, so stay tuned!

    ACCJ & EBC Legal Services Committees
    Arbitration and Japan: Can They Go Together?
    Speakers: Richard A. Eastman, Holland & Knight Tokyo, and Toshihiko Omoto, FCIArb
    Date & Time:Monday, 8 April , 12:00-14:00
    Place: Tokyo American Club, 4F
    2-1-2, Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Cost:Members 4,500 yen, Guests 5,500 yen
    Registration:by Thursday, 4 April
    While arbitration thrives in the United States, Europe, China and many other countries, it has not really caught on in Japan. Why not? What are the problems? The solutions?

    Dick Eastman and Toshi Omoto are the liaison members in Japan for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb), East Asia Branch. They are part of a Chartered Institute initiative to found an organization for arbitrators and would-be arbitrators here in Japan, to give more transparency to available arbitral skills and resources here, provide training, and promote international standards and practices.
    For more about the seminar, and registration form, click link at right.

    The Australian New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan
    Japan's Aging Society
    Some Socio-Economic, Financial and Technological Implications for Healthcare Services
    Speakers:Mr William Hall President, Isis Research Japan Ltd
    Date & Time:Wednesday, 17 April,18:30-21:00
    Place: Australian Embassy
    Cost:5, 000 yen
    Registration:by Monday, 15 April
    Drawing on a wide range of Japanese language data sources, Mr. Hall will provide an overview of the enormity of the problems, as well as the significant business opportunities, presented by the aging of Japanese society. The speed of aging of Japanese society and the concomitant decline in the absolute numbers of young people is unprecedented in world history, and Japan has become the test market for all rapidly aging societies.

    How is Japan handling this situation? Can healthcare become a growth industry to help Japan break out of recession? Mr. Hall will address these and other issues, and will show a fascinating video of an isolated Japanese village comprised almost entirely of aged residents, and how technology is being used in healthcare services.
    For more about the event, and registration form, click link at right.

    News from Finland
    Sonera and Swedish Telia to merge
    The new Nordic telecom giant Telia-Sonera gets a clear Swedish imprint.
    The companies' owners decided on Tuesday to merge the companies on the condition that the domicile and main owners are Swedish.
    The board will however get a Finnish flavor; the Chairman of the board until 2005 will be Tapio Hintikka.
    The President of the company will be elected from outside the companies, this would be done before the summer.
    The merger will be carried out so that Telia offers Sonera shareholders exchange of shares. Sonera share equals about 1.5 Telia shares. According to this, Telia pays about € 6.6 per Sonera share, which is 16 % higher than Fridays closing price.
    Telia's owners will have 64 % of the new company, and Sonera's owners 36 %.
  • Children began walking around villages dressed as witches as early as the 1800s.
    No grins this week (run out of good ones, and space in this bulletin...) but some words about Easter;
    To the Christian world, Easter commemorates the resurrection of Christ, but it also celebrates the arrival of spring. Finnish Easter traditions also combine these characteristics. At Easter the Finns welcome spring, though in March or even April, winter still reigns in the northernmost corner of Europe.

    For more about Finnish Easter, read here in ENGLISH  and in JAPANESE 


    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 340 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 74 corporate members.