The Beatles' records in Japan were released on the Odeon label, owned by Toshiba. The LPs, singles and EPs were initially released on both red and black vinyl, with the red variants reportedly offering particularly good sound quality. They are particularly sought-after by audiophiles, and are considerably rarer than the black vinyl versions - red vinyl signifies first pressings of a release.
Interestingly, The Beatles' first two UK albums, Please Please Me and With The Beatles, weren't issued until the group toured in Japan in 1966, although songs from each were released there from 1964 onwards.
The Japanese LPs also came with a thin obi strip wrapped around the cover, which were often discarded by teenagers keen to hear the music as soon as possible. As such, the rarity offers collectors a challenge, as does the variety of different obi strips for individual pressings of each release.
Furthermore, the early 1960s Japanese LPs were adorned with half-obi strips. These, like the full ones which replaced them in the mid-1960s, are often faked by unscrupulous record sellers.
The LPs also came with a lyric sheet in both English and Japanese. The singles, meanwhile, were issued in picture sleeves. EP covers came with either liner notes in Japanese, or photographs of the group, and always came with a lyric sheet.
Odeon were slow to catch onto the Beatles phenomenon. However, they made up for lost time by issuing a total of nine singles within the first week of May 1964. A further six singles were released on the same day on 5 February 1965. Otherwise, it's worth noting a tendency to issue records on the 5th, 10th or 15th of the month.
Source: Beatles Bible