Thankfully, a commentator provided a non-404’ing link to the study in the comments to my previous answer. Studying it gives some interesting insights that, in my opinion, are sufficient to open another answer with a different general tone.
As a zeroth point, the survey actually asked for the perception on a country’s influence in the world. The text the interviewers read reads:
Please tell me if you think each of the following countries is having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world.
The answers mainly positive and mainly negative were offered but participants could also choose to answer depends, don’t know and neither/neutral if they so chose.
Thus, the results are not a perception of the country but rather of that country’s influence on the world; a small but possibly important decision. However, back to the main point.
The study itself focused on the country that was being rated and listed how different countries’ populations thought of the rated country. This was condensed into a rated average. However taking a look at the results I immediately noticed that another view should be considered: that focusing on the rating countries.
Results were collected from 25 countries, I identified 11 countries which were both rated and rating countries (China, India, the UK, Japan, the USA, Germany, Canada, France, Brazil, South Korea and Russia). In Brazil and China the survey was conducted by in-person interviews in cities, in all other countries a randomized telephone survey was used. From across these 11 countries, I checked the average values for positive and negative influence that were given to the other ten countries in the sample. (So for Germany, the average across their perception of China, India, the UK, Japan, the USA, Canada, France, Brazil, South Korea and Russia.)
Country + 0 -
USA 53 16 31
France 52 11 37
UK 51 15 34
South Korea 50 20 30
Canada 48 18 34
Brazil 45 32 23
Russia 41 42 18
China 38 27 35
Japan 33 52 15
India 31 50 19
Germany 28 30 42
The survey’s results are presented by geographic region followed by decreasing approval; for this table I chose to use only decreasing approval. The central, ‘neutral’ column is actually 100 % minus positive and negative responses and thus also encompasses depends and don’t know.
It is immediately obvious that in Germany, on average, only 28 % of people thought an other country had a positive influence in the world while a negative influence was seen by 42 % of people on average. With these numbers, Germany has both the lowest ‘positive’ responses and the highest ‘negative’ ones. By contrast, in Japan only 15 % of people would respond that a country had a negative influence in the world—the lowest number across all countries. This does not coincide with the highest positive-response average which belongs to the respondents from the United States.
Obviously, these results are not fully comparable. Public opinion and government are very different in China and Russia compared to most other countries. However, Germany, France and the UK are culturally, economically and politically very similar and should respond similarly; likewise one might assume that South Korea and Japan respond similarly where they clearly do not.
The numbers I have presented herein are only the most basic of any possible statistical analysis. I only have a basic knowledge of statistics, so digging deeper is certainly possible. However, even this crude analysis uncovers disparities that just looking at the per-country raw data suggested.
One obviously has to read the responses concerning a single country in the light of what the average response is. A 28 % negative response from Japanese on South Korea is unusually high—almost twice the average. A 65 % negative response from Germans on South Korea is not that exceptional. The same can be said about the positive responses. Conclusion: South Korea is seen much more negatively in Japan than in Germany upon closer inspection even if the raw numbers do not say that directly.