To respond to Rafael, I am indeed *uninterested* in the localization of the user interface, at least at this point. I mean, it would be a nice bonus to enjoy, but my main worry is that we will be able to store and retrieve information in Unicode without any trouble.
For example: We developed a site in OpenACS 4.5 that used Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Everything worked swimmingly well, except for the issue of text alignment -- where Arabic and Hebrew need to be right-aligned, and English needs to be left-aligned. And there are little BIDI problems like where the period goes at the end of a sentence, if the period is the final character in the sentence. But aside from those niggling little issues, we didn't have to think about the different character sets once we modified nsd.tcl.
I just wanted to double-check that this would be true for Japanese and Chinese if we use Unicode, and that there are no unpleasant surprises awaiting us. (Patrick's point about making sure that the Japanese doesn't just look OK, but is actually OK, is a very important and useful one.)
In theory, Unicode means that we can completely ignore the language in which things are stored -- that OpenACS will work with Chinese, Japanese, Russian, French, Hebrew, Arabic, Korean, and even cuneiform without modifications. (Although cuneiform tablets don't always come with USB connectors.)
I just want to make sure that we're not going to discover all sorts of problems and issues down the road.