New personnel at the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo
Embassy of Finland in Tokyo welcomes two new staff members. COL Asko Kopra has started as the new Defence Attaché and Ms Saeko Lindroos as the new receptionist at the Embassy.
Colonel Asko Kopra started as the new Defence Attaché for Japan on August 1. He is assigned to China and South Korea at the same time. Prior to the current post, he spent four years as senior staff officer in both Army Command Headquarters and Defence Command Headquarters in Finland.
Asko’s background is in armored force as an officer and he spent his initial service years in the training of armored equipment. He then served in the Armored Brigade as a commander for the basic unit and in R&D for capacity building, training both conscripts and cadre personnel.
His past international assignments include participation in NATO KFOR operation in Kosovo, foreign operations command for the German military in Potsdam and Mission of Finland to NATO in Brussel.
Asko is based in Beijing with his wife Johanna. Asko has two grownup daughters who are studying in Finland. Openly curious about new things, Asko and Johanna enjoy travelling and trying out different kinds of food. They are also interested in keeping fit through various physical activities.
Asko-san, welcome to this part of the world!
Saeko Lindroos is the new receptionist at the Embassy of Finland. After living in Finland for six years, she moved back to Japan with her husband and two children. She has a long running history in reception and office work both in Finland and Japan. She has also studied in California and has a license to teach English, so she has superb skills in language too.
Saeko loves singing and has sang in not only karaoke bars and ocean cruises, but has also participated in Voice of Finland and Idols, managing to get through the first round. She can sing in Finnish, one of her favorite songs being Johanna Kurkela’s Rakkauslaulu.
So, how does she feel coming back to Japan? The darkness and coldness of Finnish fall and winter are something that she will not be missing, but she thinks she might start longing for the scenery and sunlight of the better half of Finnish seasons. Coming back to Japan from Finland is not something that she worries, though. As she was born and raised in Kansai, moving first time to Tokyo may bring some domestic cultural differences, she laughs.