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VIC-1001 promo pic.jpg
The VIC-1001 was the Japanese version of the VIC-20 computer.
The VIC-1001 case badge.
Japanese keyboard ("kana" on key faces).
A VIC-1001 screen showing Japanese characters.

The VIC-20 was first launched in Japan, where it was called the VIC-1001 (possibly after the PET-2001, which was in turn named after the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" to give it a futuristic connotation). The VIC-1001 had a unique character ROM which contained the Japanese kana (characters). The keyboard was quite different than that used on later VIC-20s. In place of the British pound key is the symbol for the Japanese Yen currency. Although Roman letters are printed on the key tops, the face of the keys feature kana markings. Japanese characters can be accessed by holding shift and the Commodore key (C=) down on boot.

A 1982 Japanese price list lists the VIC-1001 as selling for 49,800 Yen.

Somewhat confusingly, Commodore Canada later released a cartridge in that country entitled "Waterloo Structured BASIC" which also used the product number VIC-1001.

A VIC-1001 advertisement.
Cover of the VIC-1001 Japanese language user's manual (photo courtesy Schema).