Japan’s passport has got the clout with holders enjoying access to the highest number of countries in the world, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index.
Japan passport holders can visit 189 destinations visa free or with visa on arrival. Second on the list are Singapore and Germany with access to 188 territories, followed in 3rd place by South Korea, Finland, France, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.
In the 4th spot: Portugal, UK, Norway, Austria, Luxembourg and the Netherlands with visa-free access to 177 countries, while Canada, Switzerland, the US and Ireland are fifth gaining visa-free entry to 176 countries.
Greece is ranked sixth with Australia and Belgium gaining access to 174 countries.
The Henley Passport Index ranks world passports according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free basing its findings on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
To date, Schengen Area countries have topped the index thanks to open access to Europe. Now Asian nations are making their presence felt with equally high scores thanks to their strong international trade and diplomatic relations.
Meanwhile, the fastest climber on the Henley index is the Unites Arab Emirates (UAE) ascending 38 places since 2008 thanks to securing more new visa-waivers for its citizens in 2018 while still in 23rd place overall.
“The visa-waiver agreements signed by the UAE to date are very much in line with the country’s ongoing intention to position itself as the foremost commercial hub in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) zone, where it is increasingly hosting the regional headquarters of multinational firms operating in culturally diverse industries such as healthcare, professional and financial services, and digital technologies,” said Ryan Cummings, Director of Signal Risk and a leading commentator on the MENA region.
“These developments also reflect the country’s publicized goal of shifting its economic dependence away from the extractive industry towards the tourism sector, where it aims to create an ambitious 720,000 employment opportunities by 2028.”
Russia dropped from 45th to 47th position compared to Q1.
At the bottom of the list: Somalia (101) with visa-free access to 32 countries, Pakistan (102) to 30 countries, Syria (103) to 28 countries, Iraq (104) to 27 countries and Afghanistan (105) to 24 countries.