Japan has beaten Singapore to become the nation with the best passport for traveling, claiming top spot on the Henley Passport Index, as Taiwan moved up two spots to No. 29, Henley & Partners, a London-based residence and citizenship advisory firm, said on Tuesday.
Having gained visa-free access to Myanmar earlier this month, Japanese travelers now enjoy visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations, pushing Singapore, which has visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 189 countries, to second place on the index.
Third place is shared by Germany, France and South Korea, which all have visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 188 countries.
Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden and Spain place fourth with access to 187 countries.
The US and the UK, both with 186 destinations, share fifth place — with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the beginning of the year.
Taiwan moved up from No. 31 from last year to No. 29, as the countries it has visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to has increased from 134 to 148.
Russia received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver for Russian nationals, placing it at No. 47.
China moved up 14 places from last year to No. 71 this year after the countries it has visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to increased from 51 to 74.
The United Arab Emirates made the greatest leap on the index from No. 62 in 2006 to No. 21, and now holds the No. 1 passport in the Middle East.
Iraq and Afghanistan continue to share the bottom spot on the index, at No. 106, with only 30 destinations accessible to their citizens.