Well we now know that the Wii is indeed region-locked, which means that only games from the same region as the console will function on it. As for hardware like controllers and such, those should be standard as the cost to modify them would be too much to worry about so you can use accessories from Japan on a US console, just not the games. No word yet on the region-coding for the Virtual Console yet, so that's still up in the air. I hope this answered your question. My advice is, if you don't speak Japanese, you might want to go ahead and import a US Wii and then import your games. Might cost you more, but you'll be able to understand them better and then when you come back to the states, you'll be in good shape.