Collecting Military Binoculars

Subtitle

Japanese Manufacturer's Codes for Optical Products.



Most Japanese binoculars from the 1960s and several decades later, carry one or two tiny marks on the body, about 2 mm in height, frequently adjacent to the hinge axis on the rear, between the objectives.  'JB' and two or three digits identifies the manufacturer of the finished binocular, and 'JE' identifies the maker of the body.  The J symbol has a small horizontal line extending from the middle of the J, and is explained in a pamphlet from the Japan Binoculars Export Promotion Association, '63 Binoculars From Japan.  "Combining the letters L and J (standing for Light Machinery of  Japan)on the shoulder hinges or support strut of all approved binoculars manufactured in Japan since November 1959."  This link shows the list of Japanese manufacturers

Binoculars from Japan are rigidly inspected to make sure that every component is of top quality and that all mechanisms are in perfect working order. All optical products that have passed these rigorous standards are tagged “PASSED” by the Government’s Japan Telescopes Inspection Institute.  This oval silver paper label marked "JT II"certifies that binoculars have complied with the export standards of the Japan Telescopes Inspection Institute. It is usually found on the axle of the binocular.