Japan Now Has the Most Powerful Passport in the World
Japanese citizens, now's the time to take a vacation somewhere exotic.
Why? Japan has officially become the most universally accepted passport in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index.
With visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to 190 countries worldwide as of 2018, Japan beat out other powerful contenders after gaining access to Myanmar. Close runner-ups include Singapore, which is currently situated close at 189, and Germany, France and South Korea — all of which are tied at 188.
The United States and the United Kingdom have both dropped down one spot as well. Having remained stagnant for the past year, both the US and the UK acquired no new access to countries and are predicted to drop further in the rankings, which is a far cry from their tie for first place in 2015.
At the bottom of the Henley list are Afghanistan and Iraq. The two countries are tied for last place with visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to only 30 jurisdictions.
The Henley Passport Index uses information taken from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). According to Group Chairman of Henley & Partners Dr. Christian H. Kälin, index "is an important tool for measuring not only the relative strength of the world’s passports but also the extraordinary results that states can achieve when they work hand in hand with their global peers to build a more interconnected and collaborative world."