You're right, I should have said "any sixth dan teaching in Japan". That doesn't remove the basic problem, though.
well.. just looking at the list of teachers at the hombu dojo I can see two 6th dans that are not titled shihan (http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/hombu/instructor.htm)
.. so it's not AUTOMATICALLY given to anyone who reaches 6th dan. I know of a few other examples as well.
The main influence in Denmark right now is our annual visit from Arisou sensei. He's a 7th dan and - at least to my knowledge - he has never been given the title of Shihan. In my book it dosen't matter. He's a great guy and I can certainly learn a lot from him.
So.. I don't see it as so much of a problem - maybe because I'm not in any imminent danger of becomming a 6th dan any time soon anyway. I guess if I had friends being 'held back' for no other reason than being non-japanese I would also be annoyed, but I know of no such cases. In my book being 6th dan and being sour for not getting Shihan is a puzzle. At that level I would expect an aikidoist to be less driven by the titles and grades than by the pleasure of doing aikido.
In my point of view it's more of a shame when people start their own styles and liniage in order to hand out titles and dan-levels to themselves. It seems so vain and full-of-yourself-ish, and cutting corners is just not very 'aiki' if you ask me.
If you want to start you own thing then by all means - but why then adopt the japanese system of kyu/dan and certifications and titles anyway?
So.. I guess we just have to agree to disagree. I see it of far less of a problem, and I don't perceive the relationship between aikidoists around the world and aikikai as a business relation. It's just how the world is. Sure there are probably misunderstandings and favourism some places in our world-organisation. This happens everywhere. The good thing is that I believe it is being less of a problem with each generation.