Japan official to Kardashian West: Kimono belongs to Japan

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2018, file photo, Kim Kardashian West attends the 2018 LACMA Art+Film Gala at Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File
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TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade minister says the kimono belongs to Japan — not to Kim Kardashian West's shapeware brand.

West announced the line, Kimono Solutionwear, last week. But some Japanese critics on social media said the name, which the reality TV star, makeup mogul and budding lawyer trademarked, is an inappropriate take on centuries-old kimono clothing.

On Monday, West tweeted that she'll launch her brand under a new name following careful thought and consideration.

Japan's trade minister, Hiroshige Seko, said Tuesday that the kimono is part of Japan's cultural pride and is highly recognized globally, including in the U.S., as "a Japanese thing."

He said he'll dispatch senior officials to Washington next week to urge U.S. trademark officials to "appropriately" handle the case.