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I find it puzzling why Japanese made Subarus come equipped with the cheap and inferior Fram filter for North American market which is the largest market globally, whereas we get the black (Tokyo Roki) ones even though our market is the smallest!
They don't. They come with the black filter, AA160. But you lose that at your first oil change, because the black filter is not available in North America. I don't know where you are, but I'm guessing you keep getting the black ones because you don't live here.
 

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The filter made by Fram and Roki "should" be built to the exact specs that Subaru supplies. Just like there have be car companies that have contracted to build a competitor's vehicle. Can anyone here definitely say that the two filters are different. Just asking. Not implying anything anything.

I personally would not have any problem buying either one.
They are definitely different. People have cut them open to see. Here are some pics from another forum:

DSCF0256.jpg

DSCF0259.jpg

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DSCF0263.jpg

I'm sure the blue is fine, but as long as the black is available (albeit Mazda-branded), I'll use those because why not.
 
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