Japan was one of the early Playboy international editions, starting in 1975. They were also one of the editions that was censored and could not show pubic hair. In the early days the censorship was accomplished by literally blacking out the parts they could not show. The magazines were shipped to Japan and the distributor had workers to inspect every magazine and cover with black ink any parts that were objectionable. The funny thing was, they actually had women and children doing the work.
It must have looked pretty ugly to have black spots throughout the magazine, so eventually the editors decided that it was better to just print different pictures in the Japanese issue and eliminate the need for black paint. They could choose different photos for Japan where the girl was covered which was fairly simple since most Playmate shoots involved lots of shots of girls in the process of getting naked. It did require shooting a matching centerfold photo of each girl that was covered. It might be a garment that covered her or a prop. It was pretty easy in Debra Jo Fondrens 1977 centerfold, her 52 inches of hair did the job.