Japanese Passport Tops 2018 Visa-Free Travel Index

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Japan surged to the top of the latest list because earlier this month, Myanmar became the 190 country to give Japanese visitors a visa waiver, the Liberty Times reported.

Germany, another country to hold the top spot in previous years, is now in third place alongside South Korea and France. Trailing not too far behind is another Asian country, Singapore, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 189 destinations.

The US and the United Kingdom both give access to 186 destinations with their passports, but neither have gained access to any new jurisdictions since the start of 2018.

Tim Geschwindt, Analyst at S-RM Intelligence and Risk Consulting, says the agreement also speaks to Russia's shifting position within the global community: "The country is continuing to seek improved bilateral relations, as well as trade, investments, and tourism ties, with new partners".

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Taiwan moved up from No. 31 from previous year to No. 29, as the countries it has visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to has increased from 134 to 148.

Russia has fallen to 47th position, despite having received a boost in September when Taiwan announced a visa-waiver for Russian nationals. Frequent Filipino travelers won't find this surprising and are surely all too familiar with the hassle and uncertainty of applying for a visa to visit foreign countries.

China recently obtained access to St. Lucia and Myanmar and is now in 71st place, having climbed 14 places since the start of 2017.

As per the index, Indians have access to travel without a visa to 60 countries, which includes Bhutan, Mauritius, Nepal, Fiji, among others.

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The index, compiled by global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners, is based on data from the International Air Transport Association.

Iraq and Afghanistan continue to sit at the bottom of the Index.

The UAE has made the most remarkable ascent on the Henley Passport Index, from 62nd place in 2006 to 21st place worldwide now. Newcomer Moldova, due to launch its CBI program in November, climbed 20 places since 2008.

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