At the CADE (Centre d’Accès au Droit des Étrangers, Centre for Foreigners’ Rights) they explained that I had no choice: I had to return to Japan to request a French visa. This solution, however, had problems of its own. The first, money… of course. The second, a rule set out in the Schengen Agreement which sttes that if you return to Japan from Europe then you can’t go back before 6 months have elapsed.
I tried to find alternative solutions for going back to Japan: I went to the CIMADE (Comité inter mouvements auprès des évacués, Inter-movement committee for aid of evacuees). I was told about them by a Franco-Japanese couple I am friends with who own a Japanese restaurant in the town centre. The CIMADE advised us to get married: after a year of marriage we could apply for my visa.