The Japanese passport is the most powerful passport in the world, according to the Henley Passport Index which provides a ranking of the 199 passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free.

Japan passport holders can travel to 191 destinations around the world without a visa. The country has scored the number one position in the ranking for a third year in a row now.

Henley Passport Index ranks all the world’s passports based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Singapore holds onto second place position with a score of 190, while South Korea drops down a rank to third place alongside Germany, giving their passport holders visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 189 destinations worldwide.

The US and the UK share the eighth place position, marking a “significant decline” from the number one spot they jointly held in 2015. Elsewhere in the top 10, Finland and Italy share fourth place, with a score of 188, while Denmark, Luxembourg, and Spain together hold fifth place, with a score of 187.

Christian H Kaelin, chairman of Henley & Partners, said: “Asian countries’ dominance of the top spots is a clear argument for the benefits of open-door policies and the introduction of mutually beneficial trade agreements. Over the past few years, we have seen the world adapt to mobility as a permanent condition of global life.”

The UAE has climbed 47 places over the past ten years and now sits in 18th place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 171.

On the other end of the travel freedom spectrum, Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, with its nationals only able to visit a 26 destinations visa-free.

Below is the full list:

Most powerful passports

1. Japan

2. Singapore

3. Germany

3. South Korea

4. Finland

4. Italy

5. Denmark

5. Luxembourg

5. Spain

Least powerful passports

107. Afghanistan

106. Iraq

105. Syria

104. Somalia

104. Pakistan

103. Yemen