The issue is that he sells very little product in Japan through his current distributors and he's going solo so that he can better represent the line the way HE sees fit.
The Japanese have a way of reappropriating classic American styles and exaggerating certain aspects of the garment or shoe that doesn't bode well for the owners of the lines back home. There are ones which have enough balls stand up and speak against this (such as Brett), the others just take the money and produce whatever is asked for.
It's not only Japan some of the European dealers, have made some truly awful boots.
C Store Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The (former) retailer in Copenhagen had a pair as well.