These two Asian countries now boast the world's most powerful passports

Japan tops the latest edition of the Henley Passport Index

Move over Europe. In a sign of the times, the latest ranking to measure the most powerful passports in the world has placed two Asian countries -- Singapore and South Korea -- at the top of the leaderboard. 

According to the latest edition of The Passport Index, both Singaporeans and South Koreans now carry ID papers that give them visa-free access to 162 countries, the greatest number of countries around the world and more than longtime champion Germany. 

While European countries have historically dominated the charts, the breakout performance of two Asian countries signals a change in the global landscape, said Armand Arton, founder and president of Montreal-based global financial advisory firm Arton Capital. 

"We are currently seeing not one but two Asian countries with the most powerful passports in the world," Arton said in a statement. 

"This is a testament to the increased global respect and trust Asian countries are commanding." 

South Korea's rise to the top is particularly timely, with the PyeongChang Olympics currently underway. 

Newly granted visa-free access to Uzbekistan and modified visa policies to Somalia helped both countries climb the ranking, analysts note. 

This year's list also saw Japan making an impressively stealthy move to second place, tying with Germany with a visa-free score of 161.

"People don't like imaginary borders that set boundaries to their opportunities in life," Arton said. "Having multiple passports has become the new norm and people who haven't invested in this privilege feel anxious and left out." 

In another passport index released last month by Henley & Partners, Germany topped the list, followed by Singapore. 

Here are the results of The Passport Index: 

1. Singapore, South Korea
2. Germany, Japan
3. Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Italy, France, Spain
4. Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, UK
5. Switzerland, Ireland, US, Canada
6. Greece, Malaysia
7. Malta, Czech Republic, Australia
8. New Zealand
9. Hungary, Iceland
10. Slovenia, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia