Thanks Chris; I was not thinking about the distinction between Taiwan and PRC.
As far as Slik and Velbon, they may be Japanese companies but that does not mean all their tripods are made in Japan. I don't know, nor am I suggesting that is an important distinction in terms of end quality. Just raising potential points for further research.
I would surelyt be surprised if, for example, the inexpensive Slik tripods are not made in China now, and some of those tripods are really cheap - in every connotation of "cheap" (tripod+head for $50 or less). And in product listings I do not generally see country of origin listed, making this a potentially difficult research project .