On August 15th, we had presentations in the Focus Group and all of the presentations are wonderful. However, I would like to point out two problems in the contents of ours. The first thing we failed to do is choosing the most desirable figure to visualize and support each statement. The second is reasonable instances to compare the reality of both the United States and Japan.
First, I have to admit that in some of the parts in our presentation, we failed to choose the best material to support our idea. For example, Focus Group 4, which is the group I belonged to insists that because of the recession around 2000, the majority of enterprises in Japan are not afforded to introduce ATMs that accept 2000 yen bills. Then we capture this was one of the factors explaining why 2000 yen notes do not prevail. At that time, we have faced the necessity of showing the existence of a recession in the 2000s. Hence, we used the figure for capital investments of the private sector. However, this graph did not seem to express the significant declining of investment visually. In order to provide a clear figure, we should have had to confine the graph for investments of banking companies. This is because we know the fact that in the recession in the 2000s, credit cranch occurred and banking firms were more reluctant to invest than any other sector. The banking sector being more influenced by the recession, we could have shown a more significant declining in investment.
Second, it seemed that many of the focus group failed to provide desirable materials to show the differences between the U.S. and Japan. For instance, Focus Group1, whose topic is “Elementary School Transportation in the U.S. and Japan, they argued that budget pf local governments is one of the main causes. Namely, they insisted that local governments in Japan dedicate a much smaller portion than these in the United States. To support their idea, they showed the budgets of the “richest” and “poorest” cities of both the United States and Japan.
However, I was wondering whether these materials were desirable to contrast each country because they seemed not to take into account the demographic aspect. Change to say, if one city is an aging community and has a few children, it should be natural that their government’s budget is mainly for the elderly, but we are not able to regard one society as one not enthusiastic in education just because of that. For example, in Minato City in Tokyo, as their example of the richest city in Japan, there are a few elementary schools and the majority of the local community are wealthy elderly. Then, it is not surprising that the city does not lay emphasis on primary education. This example shows that we should carefully consider what material is most suitable to compare two different societies.
To sum up, I learned from Focus Group research and presentation that we are required to make a great effort to choose the most desirable evidence to describe clearly what I would to insist mainly in the academic scene.