Far from powerful: PH passport places 75th in power index

Japan has the strongest passport in the world according to new Henley & Partners ranking

Japan now has the world's most powerful passport

"The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world's largest and most comprehensive database of travel information, and is enhanced by extensive in-house research", it said.

The Henley Pssport Index said Japan's passport is the most powerful in the world with visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations.

Germany, which began 2018 in the top spot, is now in third place with 188 destinations, tied with France and South Korea.

Passports can enable global travel but visas are required to visit numerous countries, which can be both expensive and hard to gain. The index is updated in real-time, as and when visa-policy changes come into effect.

Henley highlighted at least two countries that didn't rank high but saw tremendous leaps in rankings through the years - China and the UAE.

The US and the United Kingdom, both with 186 destinations, share fifth place - with neither having gained access to any new jurisdictions since the beginning of the year.

It includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations.

Russian Federation received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver, but the country has nonetheless fallen from 46th to 47th place due to movements higher up the ranking.

This places Lebanon as 100th down the list alongside Libya, Bangladesh, and South Sudan, dropping three places from a year ago out of 106 countries. "This is still an impressive 14-place improvement over the position that China held at the start of 2017", noted the site.

Japan has overtaken Singapore in terms of the most powerful passport.

Newcomer Moldova, which is due to launch its CBI program in November, has climbed 20 places since 2008.

On the other end of the list, Iraq and Afghanistan's passports are the weakest in the world, with visa-free access to only 30 countries.

Dr. Christian H. Kälin, Group Chairman of Henley & Partners, says countries with citizenship-by-investment programs all fall within the top 50 of the index.

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