One handy thing about the DS and DS Lite was that they were region-free, which was especially helpful when Nintendo pulled its regular international bullshit and denied Europeans timely releases. The DSi, however, put a stop to it, and it's hardly surprising that the 3DS looks to go the same way.
An alleged email from Nintendo of Japan states that the 3DS will be region coded, which means your foreign games won't work, at least until someone breaks the system in some way. This will likely be a big disappointment to import fans.
Although the news is not yet 100% confirmed, it's a logical step. The DSi was region locked, so it would be surprising if Nintendo reneged and opened up the 3DS. I'd say this is a done deal, so don't go importing any early 3DS games just yet, folks.
Damn, do I hate region locking.