Maybe the transitional guitars from MIJ to the CIJ??The early series are the most popular for collectors.Also, some The Japanese serial number can be confusing too.As you look at these serial numbers, please note that the same “letter-prefix” on the serial numbers are used for two different sets of dates. AND now Japan as started making the MADE IN JAPAN guitars again and using old serial numbers.The first being the “Made in Japan” date and the second is the “Crafted in Japan” date. In another 5 years there is going to be sooo much confusion, it will not ne funny!and both were being made at the same time from 1994 till 1997.
Most of the “Made in Japan” and the “Crafted in Japan” guitars us a 6 digit number (But not all and excluding the A prefix! A + 6 DIGITS 1985-1987, 1997-1998 (Made in Japan) and (Crafted in Japan) This was one of the most confusing serial uber used by Japan.They placed the "A" on the bridge on the Telecasters and some of them could be as late as 1996 (as in the case with many JD Teles.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.
For instance, many of the MIJ/CIJ Telecasters have the serial number on the bridge and they start with an "A".Yet if you take the neck off they can be 1994-1997!