Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?
Tissier seems to be treated by Hombu on par with even the top Hombu shihan. He gets to teach at the IAF congress, beside people like Endo, Yasuno and Doshu, and my impression is that even the Japanese refer to him as a Hombu shihan, not a shihan from his national organization.
He once said: The same year that I was promoted to 6th dan, there was a meeting of European Aikidoka in Stockholm. I wasn't there, but many of the Japanese teachers were. And, of course, one Japanese teacher said, "We need to have a Japanese shihan in France." The French who were there said, "Why do we need your 6th and 7th dan instructors? We have Christian Tissier who has 6th dan from Hombu Dojo." Someone said, "But is Tissier a shihan?" And Fujita Sensei, who was the General Secretary of Hombu Dojo said, "If Tissier is 6th dan from Hombu Dojo, he is a shihan from Hombu Dojo."