As of the first quarter of 2023, Japanese passport holders can travel visa-free to 193 of the 227 — that's 85 percent of the world's countries.
London-headquartered residence and citizenship consulting firm Henley and Partners publishes a quarterly report that ranks passports by the number of destinations their holders can travel to without having to pre-apply for a visa.
Second place was shared by two other Asian countries: South Korea and Singapore. Their citizens have the right to visit 192 countries without a visa. Germany and Spain — in third place with direct access to 190 destinations, followed by Finland, Italy and Luxembourg — they have a little less — 189 countries. Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands are tied for fifth place with a score of 188.
The US passport is only in seventh position — along with Belgium, the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland — it opens up hassle-free travel to 186 countries for citizens.
“The UK and US remain in 6th and 7th places with scores of 187 and 186 respectively, and it seems increasingly unlikely that either country will ever regain first place in the Index, which they have jointly held for almost ten years ago in 2014», — according to a press release from Henley and Partners, published on January 10.
In addition to visa-free access to a certain number of countries, the report draws a direct link between the power of a passport and the economic power of countries accessible to it, which is determined by World Bank data on gross domestic product.
Thus, the Japanese passport provides visa-free access to 193 destinations. Together, these 193 countries account for 98% of the global economy. At the lower end of the spectrum, however, the situation is different: Nigerian passport holders can only travel visa-free to 46 destinations, or 20% of the world's countries. At the same time, these countries account for only 1.5% of world GDP.
As for Russia, it is in 49th place in the ranking along with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Micronesia. 118 countries are available to Russians without a visa.
Georgia follows — 50th place and 116 available countries. Turkey in 52nd place with 110 points.
Belarus together with Thailand in 68th place — 78 countries, Kazakhstan with Suriname — 70th place and 76 countries, Azerbaijan, Dominican Republic and Tunisia share the 76th line — 70 countries, Armenia with Zimbabwe and Capo Verde — 79th place and 66 visa-free countries.
North Korea in 102nd place — 40 countries.
The rating is closed by Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, whose citizens predictably have modest opportunities in every sense of the word: 27 countries are ready to accept them without a visa.