In 1976, when I was Japan for aikido, I found the books of Saito in a bookshop in Tokyo. Around 1977/1978, Kanetsuka sensei came to my dojo in Antwerp/Belgium and introduced the weaponsystem of Saito sensei. Maybe some people became interested and went to Iwama to study further.
Kanetsuka Sensei was certainly very familiar with Saito Sensei's books, and had had some direct contact with him (I know Saito visited him at his home in London), although to my knowledge he didn't train at Iwama. In 1980 we had the whole series of "Traditional Aikido" in the dojo in Oxford and Kanetsuka Sensei appeared to know them almost by heart. He was also teaching the 13 and 31 jo katas, but I don't remember him showing much aiki-ken. By the time he became ill in the mid-80s he stopped teaching aiki-jo and aiki-ken altogether, and was doing a lot of kesagiri (the Kashima-shinryu kihondachi), which I believe was due to the influence of Sekiya Sensei.
For many years Kanetsuka Sensei has put great stress on being able to handle strong static grips (particularly including multiple ukes), and he has always credited Saito Sensei with his understanding of this.