Seko, who vows to follow the situation closely, will send patent executives to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on July 9 to “properly exchange views on the matter.”
“This has become a big deal on social media,” the trade minister said at a press conference in Tokyo, according to Reuters, adding that such an issue falls under his jurisdiction. “The kimono is regarded around the world as a distinct part of our culture. Even in America, kimono is well known to be Japanese.”
Ahead of Kardashian’s about-face, Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa joined the worldwide effort to deter the celebrity from claiming “Kimono” for herself.
“We think that the names for ‘Kimono’ are the asset shared with all humanity who love Kimono and its culture; therefore they should not be monopolized,” he wrote in a letter, which included an invitation for Kardashian to visit his city.
Seko’s plan to monitor the situation received an outpour of support from Japanese netizens, with some demanding a formal apology from Kardashian and a review of other foreign businesses capitalizing on Japanese culture.
“Thank you very much for your hard work. I don’t think this issue ends with changing the name. It hurt the pride of Japanese people. I think we need a formal apology,” one Twitter user wrote.