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Japan viewed most positively in world poll, Iran most negatively+
[February 04, 2006]

Japan viewed most positively in world poll, Iran most negatively+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)WASHINGTON, Feb. 4_(Kyodo) _ Japan was most widely viewed as having a positive influence in the world, while Iran displaced the United States as the nation with the most negative rating, according to a BBC World Service survey released Friday.

Positive ratings for Japan exceeded negative ones in 31 of the 33 countries polled, with an average of 55 percent positive and 18 percent negative. The two exceptions were China and South Korea, where 71 percent and 51 percent of respondents, respectively, said Japan has a negative influence.

Meanwhile, Europe as a whole gets the most positive ratings of all, the survey results showed.

As for Iran, more respondents had negative views than positive ones in 24 of the 33 countries. On average, just 18 percent said Iran has a positive influence while 47 percent said it has a negative influence.

The United States, which had the most negative ratings in last year's poll, ranked second behind Iran this time. But it has lost ground in some key allied countries, with negative views growing in Europe, China, Australia and Brazil.

"Interestingly, no more Iranians were negative about the U.S. role in the world than Germans or French, each with 65 percent negative," the poll results said.

For China, ratings dropped most notably among European countries and in Canada, but positive views were particularly widespread in African countries.

The survey, conducted for the BBC by international polling firm GlobeScan and the University of Maryland, polled 39,435 people between October 2005 and January 2006.

The countries or region rated in this year's poll are Britain, China, Europe, France, India, Iran, Japan, Russia and the United States.

Those surveyed were asked whether they think each of the selected countries has a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world, but the poll results did not reveal the reasons behind the respondents' judgments.

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