Japan Has The Most Powerful Passport In The World

Japan has the most powerful passport in the world. Yep, I didn't know this was a thing either but apparently countries are now ranked by how useful their travel documents are.

According to a study, Japanese citizens are able to use their passport to get into 190 countries, without having to get a visa.

The league table is produced by the Henley Passport Index, using data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which looks at how many countries a passport can provide visa-free access to.

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.

Just behind them are Denmark, Finland, Italy, and Sweden on 187, followed by Luxembourg and Spanish passports which can be used to travel to 186 countries.

The British passport has dropped to sixth place this year. Credit: PA
The British passport has dropped to sixth place this year. Credit: PA

But the rankings don't make good reading for Brits.

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 last year.

According to the index, it is now the sixth most powerful passport in the world, alongside the USA, Austrian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swiss. Citizens from these seven are only able to visit just 185 countries without extra documentation.

And with Brexit looming it doesn't look like things are going to get any better, as uncertainty surrounds the UK's resignation from the European Union.

Making up the rest of the top ten countries are Belgium, Canada, Greece, and Ireland in seventh place, the Czech Republic in eighth, Malta in ninth and Australia, Iceland and New Zealand jointly occupying 10th.

Japanese citizens are able to enter the most countries without needing a visa. Credit. Creative Commons
Japanese citizens are able to enter the most countries without needing a visa. Credit. Creative Commons

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, group chairman of Henley & Partners,said that despite the rise of strong rhetoric and a move towards isolationism in some parts of the world, most countries open to collaborating with other nations.

He said: "Historical data from the Henley Passport Index over the past 14 years shows an overwhelming global tendency towards visa-openness.

"In 2006, a citizen, on average, could travel to 58 destinations without needing a visa from the host nation; by the end of 2018, this number had nearly doubled to 107."

Last year, Brits who got their passports before 2009, were advised by the government to renew their passports in order to avoid delays in the run up to 29 March, when Britain will formally leave the EU.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Dominic Smithers

After graduating from Leeds University with a degree in French and History, Dom went onto gain an NCTJ journalism qualification. Since then he has worked as a reporter at the Manchester Evening News and the Macclesfield Express, covering breaking news, court, sports, and politics.

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