Also, some The Japanese serial number can be confusing too.
For instance, many of the MIJ/CIJ Telecasters have the serial number on the bridge and they start with an "A".
In the late 1970s and early 1980s Fender was facing competition from lower priced Japanese made guitars.
and both were being made at the same time from 1994 till 1997.
Perhaps the best way to date the Vintage series is to carefully remove the necek and check the bottom of the neck for a production date.
It was established in 1890 by Victor Carroll Squier in Battle Creek, Michigan. By 1975, Squier became defunct as a manufacturer and a brand name for strings, as Fender opted to market its strings under the Fender brand name.
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.
Until the introduction of the Fender Squier series, Fender had never produced lower priced guitars based on its main Stratocaster and Telecaster models and had always used different model designs for its lower priced guitars.
Squier Company manufactured strings for violins, banjos, and guitars.
In 1982, the Squier brand was reactivated by Fender to become its brand for lower priced versions of Fender guitars. S.-trained violin makers and is often referred to as "the American Stradivarius." Victor returned to Battle Creek, where he opened his own shop in 1890. With a limited market for violins in Battle Creek, however, Squier astutely sought relationships with national music schools and famous violinists.
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.
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.