The Japanese pumps are better. Worth the difference depends on your value system. I think that at this time - "buying patriotic" would be a good policy for our country. You can do so without sacrificing quality if you are thoughtful and and selective and do your homework.
I've got an american one that's been running for almost 2 years non-stop and completely reliable.
It was used for 5 years by a friend before I got it. Anyway, from a reliability standpoint, I've been very happy with the American pump. Good power, not too noisy, and it doesn't add too much heat to the water.
the chief engineer for iwalki now has own company.he makes blue line and pan world.they are as quiet or quiter than iwalki with the same pressure ratings.i have used them for 5 years and i am impressed.i removed an iwalki 70 and replaced it with a blue line 40 x.quieter and almost as much flow with less power consumption.