The early series are the most popular for collectors.
Also, some The Japanese serial number can be confusing too.
Where to find the serial number The serial numbers on the guitar are provided through the years on various places.
At the top of the neck plate, at the front or at the back of the head or on the cover plate of the vibrato.
Mid–1997 the CIJ logo was the only one used on Fender guitars coming out of Japan (with exception the Squire series). I really don’t know, but the MIJ logo Fenders were for the USA market.
USA Fender wanted to stop the import of these guitars to the USA due to firing up their Mexican plant and due to the “too good” quality Japan was creating which competed with the USA models.
and both were being made at the same time from 1994 till 1997.
This means that the the serial numbers starting in 1994 ran consecutively on both the MIJ and the CIJ models while the MIJ logo was being phased out.
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Regarding quailty, I have owned many of both these Japanese guitars and it is a fallacy that the than the Mexican made guitars and rival many of the USA models.
The JV and SQ guitars, as well as some of the E series, had USA parts (mostly pickups, switches, and potentiometers) that were shipped over to Japan to help speed up production while the new USA plant was being set up in Corona, California.
Specially, Kanda shokai, they were distributing the Greco brand Guitar made by Fujigen.
Fujigen invested several CNC machine to produce the accurate wood body shape without time consume.