It's actually a very common Japanese response to an awkward situation - ignore it and pretend that it doesn't exist. Of course, that doesn't make it right - especially since they have to realize that they are no longer dealing only with other Japanese.
That response pattern is common in more cultures than people would be comfortable acknowledging. A similar thing happens in the very religious Jewish communities. When the person is made an outcast, they are considered dead and nobody is suppose to talk about that person from that point forward. The insular nature of those types of communities enables them to only care about what happens inside of that community as paramount to all else. Modern day institutions have to recognize that controlling the message is not as easy as it use to be. The more sophisticated institutions use some very crafty spin doctors to accomplish that task. The less sophisticated ones, like Aikikai, simply end up playing the three monkey game and really look foolish and out of touch.