Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Japan tops list of most powerful passports

Japan tops list of most powerful passports

The Henley Passport Index ranks Taiwan's passport as the 29th strongest in the world, a ranking shared by Costa Rica.

Japan retains its top spot as the world's most travel-friendly passport thanks to the document's access to 190 countries.

Making up the top three are Singapore and South Korea, both of which can be used to gain access to 189 countries, and France and Germany, which clock in at 188.

European countries also performed favourably, with European Union member states (along with Norway and the US) filling in the places behind the top three nations - although the United Kingdom continues to drop down the rankings, along with the US.

While people argue over whether British passports should be blue or red, the document has tumbled down the table, falling from the top spot which it held past year.

A Pakistani passport is in the bottom five of a worldwide list of countries enjoying visa-free/visa-on-arrival access.

That the top countries in the list are all Asian - along with other significant movers from the region - shows that many Asia nations are "sustaining a high comfort level with mutually beneficial economic migration", Parag Khanna, the founder and managing partner of FutureMap in Singapore, told Henley & Partners.

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The South Korean passport was third in the previous index, released in October a year ago, and rose a place in the ranking due to a new visa-on-arrival agreement with India.

Denmark, Italy, Finland, and Sweden share joint 4th place, with access to 187 destinations around the globe. Now, Ukrainians are allowed visa-free travel to 128 countries, whereas a year ago the number was 114.

Germany and France are ranked in third place, with access to 188 destinations without a visa; while the USA and the United Kingdom continue to falter, and now sit at joint sixth place with access to 185 destinations.

Dr Kälin said China's ranking supported this argument - in 2017 the country was ranked 85th, with citizens able to access just 51 destinations.

According to the index, the passport that provides holders the least access is the Iraqi passport, which provides visa-free travel to just 30 nations.

Henley and Partners, in particular, pointed to South Korea's progress over the years, . lauding its "proactive foreign affairs approach" and an "attitude that significantly benefits their citizens as well as the global community".

South Koreans have one of the strongest passports in the world, . because Korean passports don't require a prior visa to travel to most countries.

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