"Japanese are not known to carry out scams in an effort to promote martial arts."
Actually, they are. The Japanese are quite fond of doing "works" (aka fake fights). It is common for them to intersperse these works with real fights in MMA events. The famous pro-wrestler Takada has done several, including a laughable victory over UFC and Pride Grand Prix Champion Mark Coleman. The Japanese are into spectacle and showmanship. An educated eye can spot the "work", while those that want to believe may not even notice the difference.
I love reading your posts, Mike. You are a fervent believer and defender of Aikido.
But understand that a shihan is just a shihan. They have rank, knowledge, and skill- nothing more. Some shihan are alcoholics. Others intentionally injure their students. Or take a look at Bruce Klickstein... hell, even OSensei is rumored to have engaged in marital improprieties. They are all human. They are all flawed. Their words should carry weight in their realm of expertise. That's all.