In the Philippines, our shodan costs are exactly the costs of a Danish shodan. The federation gets to keep around 45% of the amount to defray expenses.
Perhaps the Aikikai should take this into consideration?: there must be significant differences in the cost of living, from country to country; so much so that in certain countries, only the rich few can afford to pursue, and progress in, aikido.
And that has to be a barrier to its propagation.