In the ongoing Olympics of the world’s most powerful passports, Japan just scored a gold medal.
According to a new index of passport power, which counts the number of countries a passport holder can enter without a visa or for which she can obtain a visa on arrival, Japan’s passport now holds the top ranking in the world. The index is updated by citizenship planning firm Henley & Partners.
Japanese passport holders can access 189 countries visa-free, up from March, when the passport was tied with Singapore’s, with access to 180 countries. Earlier in the year, Henley added eight territories and microstates to the places it considers for access: Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Monaco, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Palestine, Vatican City, and San Marino, all of which Japan passport-holders can access. In March, Benin relaxed its requirements for Japan, bringing its total number to 189.
The Henley count is one of two major passport indexes. A rival index, run by global financial advisory group Arton Capital, considers Singapore the world’s most powerful passport, with visa-free access or visa-on-arrival for 164 countries. According to this count, South Korea comes in second. Japan and Germany are tied for third, with access to 162 countries.