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Dating Fender Japanese guitars
DATING JAPANESEMADE FENDER INSTRUMENTS
SERIAL NUMBERS CIRCA
JV+ 5 digits 19821984
SQ + 5 digits 19831984
E + 6 digits 19841987
A + 6 digits 19851986
B + 6 digits 19851986
C + 6 digits 19851986
F + 6 digits 19861987
G + 6 digits 19871988
H + 6 digits 19881989
I + 6 digits 19891990
J + 6 digits 19891990
K + 6 digits 19901991
L + 6 digits 19911992
M + 6 digits 19921993
N + 6 digits 19931994
O + 6 digits 19931994
P + 6 digits 19931994
Q + 6 digits 19931994
S + 6 digits 19941995
T + 6 digits 19941995
U + 6 digits 19951996
N + 5 digits 19951996
V + 6 digits 19961997
Crafted in Japan A + 6 digits 19971998
Crafted in Japan O + 5 digits 19972000
Crafted in Japan P + 5 digits 19992002
Crafted in Japan Q + 5 digits 20022004
Crafted in Japan R + 5 digits 20042005
Fender began making guitars in Japan in 1982. At that time, ALL Fenders were marked *MADE* In Japan (with a few unmarked exceptions, which I may post another guide detailing). Up till 1997, that's the way ALL Fenders manufactured in Japan were marked: MADE In Japan.
At some point a decision was made by Fender, for whatever their reason(s), to change this to CRAFTED In Japan. And, in 1997 Fender began using the Crafted In Japan marking. During that year  it is my understanding  guitars were marked both "Made" and "Crafted" In Japan. In 1998 and since, all Fenders manufactured in Japan have been marked "Crafted" In Japan.
