Japan starts 2023 with the world’s most powerful passport, allowing visa-free entry to 193 global destinations, according to the latest Henley Passport Index, which the country tops for the fifth consecutive year.
That doesn’t mean the passport is widely used, even as travel rebounds from Covid. Only 24 million valid Japanese passports were in circulation at the end of 2021, according to the latest available figures from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That’s down more than 3 million from the year before and means that less than 20% of the population held a travel document.
Japan’s Powerful Passport
Note: Mapped data show the number of destinations with no visa requirements for passport-issuing entities. Data as of Jan. 2023.
Singapore and South Korea retained their places in joint second on the ranking, followed by Germany and Spain, and then a slew of other European nations.
The US was among the top 22, with visa-free access to 186 places, matching the likes of Switzerland, New Zealand and Norway.
China allows access to 80, the same as Bolivia. Russia’s is better, providing hassle-free entry to 118 destinations, while Afghanistan’s remained the weakest, with access to just 27.