Where Did Fender Japan Go?

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Recently there’s been some chatter online about the status of Fender Japan. There were many great guitars coming out of Fender Japan – indeed you may remember this post from 2012 in which I had a look at some particularly beautiful Fender Japan instruments. There’s currently a discussion over at TalkBass.com about Fender Japan. It started with forum member GazzBass, who said “I guy in my local music store in Osaka told me there will be no more stocks of Fender Japan guitars and once they are gone that will be it. I also heard they were closing the factories. That’s all the info I could get from him. Anyone else heard about this?”

Several other members go on to say they’ve spoken to folks working in Japanese music stores who have confirmed that the distribution agreement has ended and that Fender Musical Instrument Corp is taking over. This would certainly explain why the Japanese website for Fender now looks very much like the FMIC site instead of its own unique design like it was up to quite recently.

Once upon a time I was a finance journalist, so I dug into Fender’s prospectus from their abandoned IPO a few years ago (filed on March 8, 2012) and found the stuff that sheds some light on exactly who Fender Japan is/was, for those who are unfamiliar. Read More …