BERLIN – Japan edged down to 18th place — tied with Hong Kong — on Transparency International’s 2015 corruption perception index, released on Wednesday, as North Korea languished at the bottom of the list of 168 nations for the fifth straight year.
Denmark was perceived as the cleanest for the fourth year in a row with a score of 91 out of 100 on the Berlin-based organization’s indicator of public-sector corruption. Finland came in second place and Sweden in third.
North Korea tied in last place with Somalia. Both countries scored 8, unchanged from last year.
Japan scored 75, a slight regression from 76 a year earlier. It ranked 15th in the 2014 list of 175 nations based on a minimum of three assessments by international organizations, think tanks and other institutes. Countries are excluded if there is insufficient survey data.
Despite accelerated anticorruption efforts by Beijing under President Xi Jinping, China tied with Colombia and Sri Lanka in 83rd place with a score of 37.
“China’s prosecutorial approach isn’t bringing sustainable remedy to the menace,” Transparency International said.
From Asia, Singapore was perceived as the cleanest nation, eighth overall, followed by Hong Kong and Japan at 18th. Taiwan was at 30th and South Korea 37th.
Among other countries, the United States ranked 16th and Russia 119th.