Japan have ended the 2012 calendar year as the top-ranked team in Asia according to FIFA’s official rankings.
The Blue Samurai sit 22nd in the world, two places above their November ranking, following the World Cup-qualifying win over Oman on November 14.
Japan remain the best in the Asian Football Confederation ahead of South Korea, ranked 35th overall, and Australia who follow in 36th.
The Taeguk Warriors fell three places from 32nd whilst the Socceroos also dropped a trio of spots.
Japan, South Korea and Australia are above the likes of Iran (59th overall), Uzbekistan (67th), China (88th) and Iraq (92nd) in both Asian and world rankings.