I've heard some rather bold claims made about the Strats from Japan. Stories about the Japanese factory being closed down because Fender was too afraid of competition with the USA Strats come to mind. I've heard of very good players saying that actually prefer the Japanese Strats over American. What's the real deal with this? How do the Japanese Strats measure up to the Mexican and the American ones?
From another thread:
Quote by kangaxxter

Fender Japan is actually a different company than "Fender", though still part of the FMIC family. They (FujiGen Gakki, i.e. the guys who make MIJ [pre '92] and CIJ [post-92] Fenders) were contracted to manufacture "Fenders" in Japan in the 80's from CBS. The thing about FujiGen Gakki is that they also produce Tokai guitars, and were contracted due to the quality of their Fender style copies.

So basically happens is FujiGen Gakki builds Tokai brand Strat copies in the 80s to fill a demand in Japan for Fender style guitars. Due to import restrictions and ownership laws, it isn't worth it for Fender to import American and Mexican guitars to Japan, so they (well, CBS) formed a new company in Japan, called Fender Japan, contracted out their guitar production to the same guys who were making the best quality copies, and called them "MIJ Fenders" and sold them where they were domestically produced (They also started the Squier brand from these guys, but that's another story for later). Because they're made basically in small batches (which is why they have so many weird models with strange features), it's quality over quantity for Fender Japan, as they don't actually make any of their instruments (kind of like Squier is now).

The reason why they don't export Japanese Fenders is that it doesn't make sense to. The FMIC owns two factories in North America, does most of its business in North America and Europe, and already has a complete range (low, middle and high end) of guitars from those factories. Why would they need to import more, possibly competing, contracted out, batch-made instruments?

So basically, those rumors are untrue because there was never any Japanese Fender factory to close down.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.

Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
NYC Big Muff Pi
Japan fenders tend to be the same if not better quality than a USA fender, half the price, the only issue usually is the pups and electronics. But thats easily rectified.

Do it and never look back.
Quote by beckyjc
Japan fenders tend to be the same if not better quality than a USA fender, half the price, the only issue usually is the pups and electronics. But thats easily rectified.

Do it and never look back.
+1 although MIAs are really very nice, too.

Quote by junglej25
Thanks for your replies. I'm looking at an '86 with a Floyd
I have an '87. The LFR has been pretty solid.

i don't think fujigen makes tokais. i didn't think they made the japanese fenders, either. dyna gakki or something like that.

I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
I have no direct experience whatsoever, but people talk about the quality of these MIJ all the time. Most of the time they say MIJ are superior to the current american standard production, by far.
when fender switched between fullerton and corona california, there were a great deal of guitars produced in japan to cover the gap in american production.

to this day some fender models are produced there. most recently the pawn shop series of guitars.

they remain of high quality to this day. great stuff. i have a heavily modded 80's mij strat that i'm very fond of.
Depends on the year, specific guitar, and overall user preference.

That being said, I wouldn't trade my CIJ's for the world.