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Larisa V. Zhilina 
As the world becomes more integrated, political and social challenges have become increasingly global, pointing to a greater need for understanding between nations and a greater need for finding global trends. On the one hand, it helps to shape public policies. On the other hand, it helps politicians to connect with their audiences and it reveals underlying issues that are of utmost importance for decision-makers on different levels in their countries. The present article examines the results of the opinion poll "2016 Best Countries rankings" based on global opinion of respondents from 36 countries (surveying more than 16 000 business leaders, informed elites, and general citizens). They tried to decide what makes one country better than another - and ultimately which one ranks as the best country in the World. We have made this to understand how an image of Japan was perceived all over the world in comparison with other countries in 2016. Also we have made an effort to compare the results of the poll "2016 Best Countries rankings" with opinion of the professional experts, who took part in creation of "The Global Competitiveness Index 2015-2016" Report, which is one of the most important international assessments of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in terms of the competitiveness environment of 140 countries' economies. This report shows the key factors and their mechanisms and interrelations that determine economic growth and the level of present and future prosperity in each country.
Japan, 2016 Best Countries rankings, The Global Competitiveness Index, Public Opinion
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