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ECONOMY, HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Japanese passport unseats Singapore as world's most powerful in Q1

It fell one destination short of Japan's visa-free entry to 190 territories.

Singapore and South Korea lost out to Japan as the world’s most powerful passport based on the number of visa-free and visa-on-arrival access they grant around the globe, according to global residence and citizenship advisory firm Henley & Partners’ Henley Passport Index Q1 rankings.

Japan held its grip on the number one spot with 190 visa-free and visa-on-arrival destinations, followed closely by the 189 granted by Singapore and South Korea passports. Germany and France also remained in third place with its passports giving citizens access to 188 countries and territories.

Also read: Singapore passport dethroned as world's most powerful

“The countries that perform well on the index are those that are embracing new models of global citizenship and adapting to, rather than shrinking away from, an increasingly globalised world,” Henley & Partners Singapore’s managing partner and head of Southeast Asia Dominic Volek said in a statement. “The general spread of open-door policies has the potential to contribute billions to the global economy, as well as create significant employment opportunities around the world.”

The firm revealed that dominance by Asian countries on the index reflected the impact that international mobility and migration has had on the region. It highlighted how China’s Thousand Talents scheme, Thailand’s entrepreneur visa and similar initiatives from the UAE to Singapore indicated that many nations are sustaining a relatively high comfort level on the back of mutually beneficial economic migration.

Also read: Daily Briefing: NRIC and Singapore passport applications ditches paper forms by 2020; Online luxury marketplace Reebonz to list on NASDAQ

The US and UK continued to drop down the index, sitting in joint sixth place with access to 185 destinations which is a significant fall from its first place position in 2015. Iraq and Afghanistan remain at the bottom of the ranking with access to 30 visa-free destinations each. 

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