Based on the amount of feedback I received after my post from yesterday (more close-up pictures available here), it seems that the issue with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII is more common than I expected (I got lucky with mine). At that point it is not clear if this "peeling" will impact the performance of the lens in anyway and whether those pieces will start falling off inside the lens one day. I am not even sure if it is a damaged thread of "real peeling" of the top layer.
I received a report that a customer went back to the store where he originally purchased the lens and checked all 70-200mm available in stock and they all had the same problem.
Trick77.com reports that Nikon service center representative acknowledged the issue and they will fix it. If you have this issue, get yours in for repair asap.
Nikon's Service Center in Canton, China documented this issue. The translation: there is presence of tiny particles inside the lens barrel when it's zoomed to 200mm in the second group of lenses. Customer requests inspections: