The VIC-1001 is the first of the VIC series of computers, which includes the tremendously successful VIC-20. The VIC-1001 was only sold in Japan. As such, it includes a special character ROM and keyboard that allow the user to enter Katakana characters.
As often with Commodore, the origin of the "-1001" moniker is unclear. It might be a reference to another popular Commodore system, the PET-2001.
When he introduced the VIC-1001 to the world, Jack Tramiel uttered this unforgettable sentence: "The Japanese are coming, so we must become the Japanese!" (referring to the threats of low-cost systems from Japan) He then proceeded to create one of the most popular line of micro-computers of all time.