Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?
"There is a third way in which Birankai International will protect the unity of purpose Sensei wishes it to have. That is in the establishment of shihan title. For many years, the shihan of the North American Continental Shihankai have been negotiating with Hombu Dojo to allow for the recognition of non-Japanese teachers as shihan. In order for Aikido to truly take root outside Japan, it must develop, support, and honor teachers native to the countries where it is practiced. Unfortunately, over time, it has become apparent that the issuance of shihan title to non-Japanese must be resolved without the direct assistance of Hombu Dojo. Therefore, Chiba Sensei has given shihan title to three of the senior teachers in Birankai International US."
Well you see Chiba Sensei's intent when he formed Birankai. That passage is from Birankai's home page. This has been an issue for some time. And its clear, that non Japanese will not be getting Shihan titles from Hombu. In essence it is more power plays coming from the current Doshu to re-align the aikido world under him. He knows the original dechi of O' Sensei are getting old now , So the current Doshu is moving to reign in all the organizations under those original Deshi. You saw it earlier with the squashing of Saito at Iwama, bringing the end of the so called "Iwama style" So there would be just one recognized so called style for both Hombu and Iwama.
And now the current Doshu, after solidifying japan, takes aim at all us helpless Gajin. This is nothing more than a play to control rank. The way I see, in simplest terms, once all the 8 th dans die, hombu will start a rank "squeeze" so to speak. Since you can't promote yourself, and you can only( in theory mind you) award rank to 1 dan level below you, Hombu intends to squeeze the ranks out of the foreign organizations, in a sense forcing foreign orgs to take a "shihan" from Hombu, so new ranks can be given.
I am sure there other reasons,and maybe I paint with to broad of a stroke, but in pure simple terms its consolidation of power.