Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan Newsletter

  ISSUE 31/2018

19 December 2018 

As the holiday season is closing in, this will be my last bulletin in 2018 and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members and other readers of my bulletin for all your support and good cooperation this year and wish you:

Note that the FCCJ office will be closed from 21 December (afternoon) to 9 January.
I will read my mails occasionally during this time but cannot promise immediate response.

We had a most enjoyable Christmas Luncheon at the Embassy on Friday, with delicious Finnish style Christmas food and interesting presenatitions. Read the report below!

Our first event in 2019 is the traditional "Shinnenkai" (New Year's) Party on Wednesday, 31 January, see more details below.

Our "Aoyama View" columnist has provided his last article (27th!) for this year, titled: "Japan: The Only Safe Place From Global Turmoil?".

Click banner at right to find out the reasoning behind this claim, but also on issues of concern and challenges for Japan.

Report from the FCCJ Christmas Luncheon on Friday, 14 December
After a 5 year break, the traditional FCCJ Christmas Luncheon came back and was held on Friday, 14 December at the Embassy of Finland, where we could enjoy a delicious Finnish style Christmas buffet prepared by the Embassy's chef.

H.E. Ambassador Pekka Orpana gave us his impressions of the first 100 days in office and update on the 100th Anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan in 2019, including events in the planning.

In addition, First Secretary Ari Honkanen explained about the Finnish Pavilion planned for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will be built on the Embassy compound. Architect Totti Helin gave us a first glimpse of what the Pavilion would look like.

For a report from the event, attended by 41 members and guest, please click link at right!


Wednesday, 30 January 2019
FCCJ Shinnenkai (New Year's) Party

The traditional FCCJ Shinnenkai (New Year's) Party is this time held at the FCCJ office in Shimomeguro. This is also the home office of the Executive Director Clas Bystedt who is retiring at the end of the current fiscal year on 31 March 2019, when the FCCJ Office will move to the Embassy of Finland.

Join us for this "house cooling party" and find out how the FCCJ has operated for 20 years, enjoy some food and a plenty of drinks (there are a lot of old bottles that need to be emptied...).

Note: Due to space restrictions, this is a members only event.

  Date & Time:

Wednesday, 30 January 2019, 18.30 - 21:00



FCCJ Office, Forest View Meguro 101, 5-11-17, Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku  [MAP]


3,000 yen (members only)


by Friday, 25 January

Please note that we will collect the fee of 3,000 yen at the venue and provide you with receipt. Note also that we have to invoice the fee for cancellations later than Friday, 25 January and "no-shows".

To sign up, click links at right! Sign up soon because maximum capacity is 25.


Free Service from Tokyo National Strategic Special Zone
Tokyo Employment Consultation Center

Tokyo Employment Consultation Center provides attorneys with knowledge of labor-related laws give advice FREE OF CHARGE.

This center was established under the Act on National Strategic Special Zones and provides support to global companies and startups so that they can understand employment-related rules in Japan and smoothly set up their business enterprises.

The center provides consultations on employment and arrange for experienced attorneys to provide counseling at your office together with seminars by renowned lecturers.

Please click links at right for more information.


News from Finland

"Climate change a major market distortion": Central Bank forecasts slowing economic growth

The current faster-than-anticipated growth in employment will be temporary, the Bank of Finland said in a seasonal forecast.

Finland has come to the end of a period of rapid economic growth, the bank of Finland said in economic projections released on Tuesday. The central bank projected economic expansion of 2.7 percent this year, but said that it would slow to 1.9 percent next year and would come in at 1.7 percent in 2020.

Inherited environmental problems, dwindling workforce
In addition to another downswing, Rehn also said that government needs to prepare for the impact of climate change. "Climate change will be a major market distortion. It will have a huge impact on long-term economic growth and economic sustainability," he noted.

"In the decades ahead people in Finland will have to be build their lives without having to struggle with the debt and environmental problems created by previous generations," he charged.

Finland's export sector continues to do well, but factors such as an uncertain global economy increase the likelihood of weaker economic development. The Bank cited the faster-than-anticipated slowdown of export activity as one of the greatest risk factors in its forecast.

Similar forecast from Finance Ministry
The Bank speculated that the supply of jobs will create a bottleneck to economic growth unless structural reforms are implemented.

The central bank's latest forecast is consistent with projections from other organisations. On Monday, the Finance Ministry predicted that economic growth had passed its peak and was returning to normal.

The ministry forecast economic expansion of 2.5 percent this year and 1.5 percent in 2019. In spite of the slowing of the economy, it expected a moderate rise in real earnings to sustain the demand for labour. It projected that the employment rate would rise to 73.3 percent while unemployment would fall to 6.6 percent in 2021.


Grin of the Week

Early Christmas Shopping

It is late December and the court judge is in a good mood. He asks the defendant: "What are you accused of?"

The defendant replies "I am accused of having done my Christmas shopping too early!"

The judges says "But that's not a crime."

"Well, it was before the store opened..."

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 700 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 62 corporate members, 19 individual and two special members.