Column of the Day: Escape plan 9/21

Yesterday was my garbage day. I threw away the piles of documents for my exporting side business, and a tissue box case.

I know it’s so tiny,but as I always say ,”better than nothing.”

The last day, I’ll kick myself out of the room and will good bye to Japan.

Having said that I was choosing between Romania and Chile, I’ve decided to go to France.

A very nice family is going to host me for 6 months.

so now the problem is VISA.

With a tourist visa,I can only stay for 3 months.

There seem to me some tricks to prolong it,such as spending a few days out of EU area and come back etc..but probably I could stay for 1 year at the longest.

Me and the potential host family is making a conspiracy to enterprise in France and get a merchant visa, which must be renewable.

However,I have no idea what they require of me.

and I hope to start processing before I actually set off for France because I think it takes time.

Also,I don’t speak French,and have no capital.

I’m so nervous about it.

However,tonight typhoon 15th is directly hitting the Fukushima plants.

The latest news says Fukushima is in blackout.

I can’t be too slow to get out of here..

PS,Thank you very much for your,not sarcasm. I read them all and am sorry for not being able to reply to all of them. but you are actually affecting my life so much.

Thank you ,and hopefully,please lead me to the right way.

Commercant VLS Liste Documents Creation

  1. With a tourist visa, you can stay for 3 months. You would probably have to leave the EU for about a month after that and come back for another three months.

    The problem is that you are theoretically only allowed to be in the EU for 6 months total in one year. So if you wanted to re-enter the third time time (after you had 6 months total), they probably wouldn’t allow it.

    If you overstay, the consequences can be very serious.

    If you can get the “visa commercant” that would be a lot better.

    Also, France is very expensive these days and you will have a culture shock without any knowledge of French.

    But if that’s the way that things work out, accept it. Just be aware that if you only get the 90 days tourist visa, you will have to start thinking about a solution immediately.

    Bon courage!

    1. M.X.,
      You might me wrong about:
      “probably have to leave the EU for about a month after that and come back for another three months”
      and about:
      “The problem is that you are theoretically only allowed to be in the EU for 6 months total in one year. So if you wanted to re-enter the third time time (after you had 6 months total), they probably wouldn’t allow it.”

      Some of the Japanese natives who taught at one school in Romania, for example, spent 1 year (from september to june) with tourist visa, maybe because they thought it was too bothersome (面倒くさい) to apply and wait for work visa…
      They used to go 1 day abroad, than entered Romania again, got visa again – it seems this can be done 4 times in a year, but only for a year, than request a change of visa type is required.

      Maybe the lows have changed? I hear both versions from Romanian friends… (about 1 year and about 6 months…)

      Anyway, it’s surely better to get “visa commercant”.

      Good luck, Iori san!
      I’m sure you’ll manage somehow, there is always a way to deal with things and get what you wish for!

      1. Romania is slightly different because it is not completely a part of the EU.

        Romanians, for instance, cannot work in France or Spain as easily as a German can.

        In the “core EU countries” such as Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands, residence laws are very harsh.

        1. “The Schengen visa allows the holder to a total stay of up to 90 days within a period of 6 months for tourist or
          business purposes. If you get a multiple entry Schengen visa, you may leave and return any number of times within
          the 180-day period, but the combined stay within the region must not total more than 90 days.”

          France is a Schengen country

          It looks like Romania is not yet completely Schengenized, which is why they have more freedom in setting their own rules.

          1. Also see the section called “Exemption”

            Japan is among the countries which are exempt from requesting a visa for a period of 90 days in the Schengen space.

            If they want more than 90 days, they have to request a different type of visa.

          2. The general rule stipulates a maximum 90-day stay within a 180-day period beginning from the first day of entry. Provided a multiple-entry visa has been granted, one may leave and return a number of times within the 180-day period but the combined stay within the region must total no more than 90 days.

            So leaving the Schengen area after 90 days and returning a few days later to get an automatic visa renewal is not an option. You can get a new tourist visa for all Schengen countries only after 180 days from your first entry into Schengen territory. Yeah, sucks.


  2. I am French (I posted some comments before). We can meet in Paris when you are here if you want. We can see if I can help you in any way, for example teaching you French, freely of course.
    Bienvenue en France ! (Welcome to France !)

  3. Leaving the EU is easy as with easyjet or Ryanair you are in the UK with very cheap flights. I didn’t know about the 6 months limit in EU though.

    I may be repetitive, but let me remind you the possibility, in case the others won’t work, to enroll as a student and get the student Visa for at least one year.

    MX is right about the culture shock too, I had it here in Japan, and without knowing the language I felt lonely and lost most of the time. I felt better only when I started a language course and met other foreigners in my same situation.

    Visa and studying French should be your priorities now, so think about using you savings (if enough—if not, start selling all what you can before leaving! Or ask a friend/relative if they can borrow you…) for a proper language course, you can always give private Japanese lessons or do other part-time jobs to get some cash for your daily life then.

    Now, move on and start packing please!
    Good luck, I wish you all the best

    1. Elo,
      I think so too, enrolling at a university would be the best way to do, because Iori san would have no problems with visa until he graduates.

      The problem is it costs money… for example, in my country 1 year = 1980 euro for foreign students

      Maybe is possible to enroll at some university for free?

      1. Apart from that, it’s necessary to make the prove that he has enough money to sustain himself for a year, the moment he applies for student visa (at least, this is the low in my country, where 1 year = around 6-7.000 euro/year
        That means, he needs at least
        1.980+120(visa)+ 7.200euro/year… around 10.000/year…

        1. I was talking about my own country, don’t know how things stand in France, but he certainly needs over 10.000 euro to enroll as a student and get student visa

  4. …and this. Check

    Japan: they just do not need to apply in advance, but are granted the visa (in the form of an entry stamp) upon arrival.

    The holder of a C-type visa is allowed to stay in the Schengen area for maximally 90 days in a 180-day period. This means you can stay in the Schengen area for at most 90 days, then leave for 91 days, then come back, etc. YOU CAN NOT RENEW YOUR VISA / VISA WAIVOR BY EXITING AND RE-ENTERING IN LESS THAN 91 DAYS

    Visitor visa are not extendable beyond the 90-days-within-180-days limit.

    Overstaying is the most common visa violation. Be advised that you will always be caught, as your visa is checked upon leaving the Schengen area. Overstaying may be penalized with a substantial fine, payable on the spot. In addition, you will be registered as a visa offender in the Schengen Information System (SIS), which party countries and certain non-Schengen countries consult before granting you a visa. Registration in SIS will greatly diminish your chances to get another Schengen visa in the future. In addition, SIS registration may lead to trouble entering other countries, notably the USA and Canada. Finally, note that some Schengen member states are currently passing legislation that makes illegal residency a criminal offence. Overstaying in those countries could mean you will have a criminal record!

    Also, many people are under the impression that, once they are inside the Schengen area, they are ‘home free’, and run no risk of being caught. This is not true. Even though border checks have been abolished, countries party to the Schengen Agreement retain the full right to make sure that everyone on their territory has a valid reason for being there. Checks in public transport are common; some member states even allow random ID checks on the streets.

  5. About studying:

    long-term visa is required. so you need:

    -evidence relating to the reason for your stay in the Schengen Area ;
    -evidence of means of support during your stay and your accommodation ;
    -evidence of repatriation insurance ;
    -evidence of your return to your country of residence (return ticket or sufficient personal resources to buy it)
    -documentary evidence to convince the consular authority of your intention to leave the Schengen Area when your visa expires.

    here is a form for long-term visa

    2. Long stays (over 90 days in France)
    Only nationals of the following countries are exempt from entry and long-stay visa requirements: Member States of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), Andorra, Monaco and Switzerland.

  6. Thank you, M.X., for you explanations and links.
    I’ll read again later, because my head is just spinning right now.

    About Iori san you shouldn’t worry, he wants to get the right to stay in France legally, get merchant visa, as he said. Elo-san and I just suggested it would be a good idea to enroll at a university, because student visa allows to stay as long as he is a student (Japanese-English department, for example)

    It seems that you are right about this:
    “It looks like Romania is not yet completely “Schengenized”, which is why they have more freedom in setting their own rules.”

    Anyway, I wish good luck to Iori-san to get the merchant visa without any problems

  7. Remember all those that left Europe before WWII…

    The sooner you leave the healthier you will be,
    … And that is the most important thing!

    Now you can start a Japanese Nuclear Refugee Blog!

    Expect a World Wide following very soon!

    A Haiku Thank You

    It’s caring about others

    That sets you apart

  8. I am sorry I posted so many links.

    I am simply very concerned about all this, for the sake of Mochizuki-san and many others in his position.

    The worst thing that could happen would be to run out of money in three months and have to leave the Schengen zone without a new visa.

    I had to suffer through some similar experiences as a teenager, when there was a catastrophe in my country of birth. I don’t want anyone else to suffer in that way.

    I am not saying at all that he shouldn’t go to France.
    The most important thing right now is to leave Japan as soon as possible.

    It’s just that if he goes with the tourist visa, he has to work on a different solution from the very first day, because in the worst case, he may not be allowed to stay for longer than 90 days.

    At least French universities are very cheap compared to the universities in the US or even the UK, so enrolling is an option, but there is still the language issue and the school year only starts in September…

    We also learned (I didn’t know) that Romania is actually not a Schengen country so it has slightly better visa regulations.

  9. PS French universities are cheap, many are even almost free, so tuition is not an issue, but the administrative problem is this.

    He would have to show an amount of about 10,000 euro in his bank account (i.e. he has to prove to French authorities he has enough money to live for a year) to get the student visa.

    He would probably also have to show evidence of language ability, but that perhaps could be solved by enrolling in a language class in France.

  10. Lori-san

    As environmental refugee, may be you could contact this fundation :

    and if you come in France, you’ll be welcome. For any help, please let me know.

    kind regards and take care


  11. Good luck and God bless in your new home! Your work on Fukushima Diary has been, and continues to be, sooo very important! Please keep it going while in France!

    Thank you for all your efforts!

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About this site

This website updates the latest news about the Fukushima nuclear plant and also archives the past news from 2011. Because it's always updated and added live, articles, categories and the tags are not necessarily fitted in the latest format.
I am the writer of this website. About page remains in 2014. This is because my memory about 311 was clearer than now, 2023, and I think it can have a historical value. Now I'm living in Romania with 3 cats as an independent data scientist.
Actually, nothing has progressed in the plant since 2011. We still don't even know what is going on inside. They must keep cooling the crippled reactors by water, but additionally groundwater keeps flowing into the reactor buildings from the broken parts. This is why highly contaminated water is always produced more than it can circulate. Tepco is planning to officially discharge this water to the Pacific but Tritium is still remaining in it. They dilute this with seawater so that it is legally safe, but scientifically the same amount of radioactive tritium is contained. They say it is safe to discharge, but none of them have drunk it.


September 2011