BBC survey: Israel 'least popular' nation
LONDON - Israel, Iran and the United States are the countries with the most negative image in a globe-spanning survey of attitudes toward 12 major nations. Canada and Japan came out best in the poll, released today.
The survey for the British Broadcasting Corp.'s World Service asked more than 28,000 people to rate 12 countries - Britain, Canada, China, France, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Russia, the U.S. and Venezuela - as having a positive or negative influence on the world.
Israel was viewed negatively by 56 percent of respondents and positively by 17 percent; for Iran, the figures were 54 percent and 18 percent. The United States had the third-highest negative ranking, with 51 percent citing it as a bad influence and 30 percent as a good one. Next was North Korea, which was viewed negatively by 48 percent and positively by 19 percent.
Canada had the most positive rating in the survey of 28,389 people in 27 countries, with 54 percent viewing it positively and 14 percent negatively. It was followed by Japan and France.
Respondents were also asked their views of the 25-member European Union; 53 percent saw it as positive and 19 percent as negative.
Britain, China and India were viewed more positively than negatively, while Russia had more negative than positive responses. It appears that people around the world tend to look negatively on countries whose profile is marked by the pursuit of military power, said Steven Kull, director of the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes, which conducted the research along with pollster GlobeScan.
Countries that relate to the world primarily through soft power, like France and Japan and the EU in general, tend to be viewed positively, he added.