Bless you, folks. I disagree with love and respect. The real diehards -- I am one of them, mind you -- around my observatory argue the niceties of manufacture and place of manufacture all the time as they do on forums like the one on "cloudynights." However, not even the $1500 Zeiss binos outperform my $50 Kmart specials, at least not $1450 worth. Whether they are marketed in Japan, China, or (as you point out very well Franco) most likely a Japanese firm made in China, the main elements to consider are aperture, exit pupil, and general manufacturing quality, which often boils down to collimation. (Also, make sure that all the surfaces are anit-reflection coated -- multicoated.) The price difference between a fine pair of German binoculars and a generic pair of Japanese/ Chinese binoculars is stunning, and you're not getting a concomitant improvement in the image.
And even the branded versions can suffer from bad collimation despite better quality control. I just advised a beginner to send a very expensive pair back for just that reason. Despite the excellent quality control, they still didn't combine the two images -- perhaps because they were dropped in the mail or perhaps because they weren't well aligned in the first place. That's why I generally advise that you go to a store and simply try them out on a distant object until you get a pair that suits you.
Other qualities are important, as well. Do the eyepieces focus separately, for example? Read the buying guide on the Orion web site for more details.
Whatever the place of manufacture, my general advice still holds. IMO, get the cheap, generic ones, and hold out until one of them is well collimated.
And also, consider a monocular, as well. (You might have to go mail order to get one.) They weigh less than half that of binos, and they produce equivalent images. Again, Barska sells a decent one -- light, inexpensive, and more than adequate to the needs of a beginning binocular stargazer.
Seriously, I've been doing this for 47 years. My first binoculars were an ultra-cheap pair of plastic-lens, flip-open opera glasses. I was entranced. In the fullness of time, I developed the observing skills to want a pair of Zeiss binoculars, but their quality would have been lost on me as a newbie. If, in the fullness of time, you begin to notice the subtle differences, sell the generics -- heck, I'll buy them from you and pass them on to another beginner -- and make the investment in a brand-name pair. In the meantime, you might decide that you don't like observing with binos, and your investment in those $279 Canons will seem like a waste of money. I've seen this happen all-to-many times: "M13 looks like a little fuzzy thing." Don't buy a Jaguar when a Honda Fit will get you to work just fine, and you might decide that you don't particularly like driving in the first place.