This information is courtesy Fender.com, republished here for your convenience. instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.
Therefore, while helpful in determining a of production dates, a neck date is obviously not a precisely definitive reference.
Most specifications for a given Fender instrument model change little (if at all) throughout the lifetime of the model.
Information on Japanese and Mexican-made instruments is included towards the bottom.
If you have a Fender in your hands, you can use this guide to precisely date your Fender instrument all the way back to 1950.
So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.
Unlike the auto industry which has specific model years for their products, most specifications for a given Fender instrument model, change little if any, through the lifetime of the model.
While there have been periods of dramatic change—such as the transition periods between the Leo Fender years and the CBS years or the transition between the CBS years and the current ownership—most models are generally feature-specific and do not change from year to year.
Serial numbers are also helpful in determining an instrument’s production year.
Based in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, Hoshino Gakki were one of the first Japanese musical instrument companies to gain a significant foothold in import guitar sales in the United States and Europe, as well as the first brand of guitars to mass-produce the seven-string guitar and eight-string guitar.
Ibanez manufactures effects, accessories, amps, and instruments in Japan, China, Indonesia and in the USA (at a Los Angeles-based custom shop).
I've read that the last digit is usually the one the determines the date.