here in Belgium we have two shihans (in the francophone foundation; we maybe don't have shihan politics, but then we have language politics...), I don't know how it is in the Dutch speaking foundation. Both were awarded their rank by Tissier shihan; I was present at the seminar when Louis van Tieghem got his shihan certificate
, and the certificates came from the Japanese aikikai.
Now we have some seventh dans who are NOT shihan, we have a sixth dan shihan and lots of sixth dans who are not, but to us footfolk this does not matter very much. We go to their seminars because they teach well, not because they have this title. I never thought people would be entitled to the shihan title, I always thought it was awarded for special merits in further developing and teaching aikido. No matter if you are Japanese, European, male, female, etc.
All the best,