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    The Yomiuri is trumpeting (Japanese/English) a poll it conducted in cooperation with the BBC, the results of which were as follows:

    Japan got the most positive ratings overall along with Germany, while the percentage of respondents giving Japan negative ratings was the second-lowest after Germany (18 percent).

    The survey was conducted across 34 countries from October to January, asking opinions about the influence of 13 countries and the European Union in the world in the the areas of politics, economy and security. The Yomiuri Shimbun participated as a local research partner in the survey, commissioned by the BBC.

    Fifty-two percent of respondents said the EU has a mostly positive influence, followed by Britain and France, each with 50 percent.

    The country with the most negative ratings was Iran at 54 percent, followed by Israel (52 percent) and Pakistan (50 percent).

    The BBC site has the results of the poll with bar graphs and–who’d have predicted this?–the headline ” World views US ‘more positively.'”


    On the BBC page, be sure to open the PDF file that gives a breakdown of the results and more information about the survey instrument. I was interested in how the questions were phrased; apparently, people really were just asked, “Please tell me if you think each of the following countries are having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world….” You also get gems such as these:

    When asked for their views of their own country’s influence in the world, Japanese citizens are the most modest of those polled, with only 36 percent saying Japan is having a mainly positive influence. Americans come next with only 56 percent saying the US is having a positive influence. Conversely, fully 91 percent of Chinese citizens and 78 percent of Russian citizens say their country is having a positive influence.

    I’m guessing that stories about poisonous Chinese exports are deemphasized by Xinhua and other Chinese media outlets, so those surveyed who don’t go abroad a lot may not be aware of just how colorful China’s influence has sometimes been since its economy started booming.

    Since I’m American and therefore mindlessly fixated on my own homeland, I also made a beeline for the page about respondents’ views of the States. Note the stats for Canada.

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