TOKYO: Google is now the most respected corporate brand in Japan, having overtaken Microsoft among consumers and business leaders in the Asian nation.

Nikkei, the news service, surveyed 33,033 shoppers and 14,184 executives, asking them to rank companies in terms of image, product quality and the experience of using their goods.

Google led the pack on 782 points, ahead of Microsoft on 781 points, a reversal of the top two positions in the same study last year.

In the 2009 poll, Microsoft was 25 points in front of Google, thanks to its established status in Japan, and strong connection with IT retailers.

Sony took third, followed by Yahoo Japan, which operates independently from its US counterpart, and recently announced a plan to start utilising Google's algorithm when generating search results.

Canon, Panasonic, Casio and Sharp also featured in the top 20, according to Nikkei's figures.

Data sourced from Reuters; additional content by Warc staff