To me, it reads as a concerted move towards standardisation by the aikikai (and possibly other other large governing bodies?). There has been an increasing level of standardisation in Japan over the past few years in most budo, basically to make them easier to teach to kids. It"s happened to karate, shorinji kempo, jodo, kyudo and naginata. It has the added effect of killing off regional and historical "flavours" of these arts. Why would you learn those old techniques your teachers learned when they won't win you any trophies?
To quote from a poster on the Aikido journal website on this subject;
"True victory is complying with global regulatory agencies."