Japan and Prime Minister Abe make it to the list as the second most trustworthy country and leader in the world in Australians’ minds.

Despite tensions between Australia and Japan when it comes to hunting whales for consumption, the two countries are driven by mutual interests and have enjoyed warm relations ever since the end of World War II.

It comes as no surprise then that Australians rank Japan very high on the list of trustworthy countries. So high in fact that Japan comes in second place right behind the United Kingdom.

▼ A 2018 survey by Australia’s leading think tank
Lowy Institute polled 1,200 Australian adults.

It seems Australians place the greatest trust in the United Kingdom, as evidenced by the country topping polls for two consecutive years despite voting to leave the European Union.

87 percent of respondents trust Japan, putting it in second place followed by France. Confidence in the United States is shaky at 55 percent, a number which has slipped to a record low ever since the question was first asked in a 2006 Lowy Institute survey.

▼ A similar trend can be seen with political leaders.

Confidence in world leaders isn’t all that different either, with England’s Prime Minister Theresa May and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe topping the survey at first and second place respectively, whereas only 30 percent of Australians express confidence in Donald Trump.

Respondents who didn’t know the respective leaders (gray in the chart above) are important to consider as well, since the numbers could potentially swing both ways if they did.

Japanese netizens voiced their opinions on the poll:

“Abe-chan is surprisingly popular.”
“Well, foreigners certainly do have a good impression of us. But Japanese people think otherwise.”
“This will surely annoy the opposition party.”
“I can’t believe the United Kingdom is on top!”

It’s always interesting to observe how global leaders and the countries they govern are perceived on an international stage. Although there is still the 12 percent of Australian respondents who have no clue who Shinzo Abe is — they might get to know him better after watching him slurp some ice cream.

Source: Lowy Institute Poll via Daily, My Game News Flash
Top image: Pakutaso