Dating fender guitar cases
while the "The next serial number prefix used by Fender Japan - as shown on the Fender web site (and other web sites as well) - was "E". The "E" alone tells us the guitar was made between 19...A great place to start in verifying this for yourself is... You'll notice on their "DATING JAPANESE MADE FENDER INSTRUMENTS" page, they start with the "MADE In Japan" serial numbers.
I have found the Fender Japan serial numbering system considerably more reliable (although, not perfect) for dating instruments... It was decided that the first serial numbers issued by Fender Japan would begin with the letters "JV." The JV was followed by 5 digits which have nothing to do with dating the guitar.
When CBS sold Fender to its current owners in 1984 there was a transitional period from 1984 to 1987 with limited Fender USA production resulting in mostly Fender Japan and leftover stock being sold.