The Japanese passport has been listed the Henley & Partners Passport Index as the most powerful passport to posses for over a year now, permitting its citizens to travel to 191 countries out of 227, without the need to get a pre-approved visa. Amid coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) things have changed.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause global economic devastation, a large share of countries have imposed entry bans and travel restrictions. As a result, the Japanese passport has lost its value, alongside with other powerful passports, VisaGuide.World reports.
At least nine countries that permitted Japanese citizens to enter visa-free have imposed border controls at their border crossing points.
For the past 20 years, there has been an increase in the number of countries that opened their borders in order to facilitate the free movement between the countries by lifting visas. Amid the Coronavirus, the number of countries allowing visa-free travel has dropped to the lowest in years, spokesperson for Arton Capital, Teresa Esmezyan points out.
Henley Passport Index is a ranking of the passports of 199 countries, published by Henley & Partners, focused on residence and citizenship planning.
On its latest ranking, the index has shown that Singapore is listed the second with visa-free access to 190 countries, followed by South Korea that stands in the third place with visa-free access to 189 countries, together with Germany, which makes three out of the five most powerful passports Asian.
Some countries have revoked visas for citizens that are highly affected by the virus. For instance, Botswana prohibited the entry for citizens of Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the US.
Other countries have chosen to suspended visas-on-arrival or visa waivers as a precautionary measure in the fight against the virus.
South Korea suspended visa exemptions for citizens of 90 nationalities. Nationals of Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK are ineligible to travel visa-free to 13 countries.
India imposed lockdown at the end of March and banned the entry for all internationals.