That is just too weird. I know Gibson and Fender are hugely popular in Japan even though imho Ibanez and ESP have it all over those two American companies in quality and in most cases, price point. That being said, J-Customs and custom order ESPs are just too much but mostly, the rest of the lines of those companies are tops in the industry and provide excellent value for money.
Isn't Andy Timmons Premium like the Steve Vai Premium and made in Indonesia? The line between Indonesian Premium and top level Chinese made Ibanezes is starting to blur.
Ibanez is pretty small over here. In terms of whats easier to find, ESP is far easier to find and is played by more Japanese musicians than both Fujigen and Ibanez are (although Fujigen does have Kelly Simonz' support). That's not to say stores dont have Ibanez in them, but the selection is pretty thin. Here in Nagoya (home of hoshino), I have yet to see an EGEN or JS
series guitar. I've seen JEMs but nothing else. Now, I went to Tokyo a couple weekends ago, found EGEN, JS
(even a used Silver surfer JS
O_o) and just about any Ibanez you could dream of (even a black floral JEM, that thing was AMAZING).
IMO, my RG2550 Galaxy white blows away the M-II or Horizon series at a price point that is far cheaper than most ESP stuff (their MIK LTD line provides comparable prices with tremendous quality). The problem is, most Japanese musicians want to have their own signature model and ESP will let any player become a signature artist, whereas Ibanez is extra stingy about that sort of thing.