That is very interesting! Makes you wonder why they would put it in hours to begin with?
I do remember though, that on the Aikikai Hombu website, it's all listed in days, not hours. Though I wonder, if they bother enough to keep track of things like this, why not keep track of lessons, instead of days? Surely that would be a more valid marker for, whether or not someone has had sufficient training or not?
Well...Everyone's motivations are different. I know why I put in the hours and it isn't to gain rank faster. It has been over a year since I have not been in attendance at every class available where I train and that was only because my car was in the shop and I could not fond a way to get there. Very frustrating.
My point was more along the lines of it really is not that important how many hours/days/months/years you train. A good instructor should know when you are ready and when you are not and either promote or hold back a student appropriately.
I didn't choose my teacher based on the color of his belt or his rank. I had the choice of several dojo in the area. Instructors in the other two choices at that time hold higher ranks. I chose him because I felt that this person was teaching what I want to learn and doing it in a way that would make a good learning environment for me and my particular needs. After three years training there I am quite sure I made the right choice.