I finally have my Chinese visa! Although not without yet more completely unnecessary bureaucratic rigmarole. After queuing up and presenting my receipt at window number 6, I then was given another receipt and told to pay my fee (¥4000) at one of the vending machines. After which I had to queue up at window 6, present three sets of receipts, and was then finally issued with my visa. Thankfully everything seems to be in order, meaning that I have absolute no need to ever visit the Chinese embassy in Tokyo ever again, which is a fortunate coincidence as my need perfectly matches my desire to do so.
Unfortunately the tiresome task of jumping through administrative hoops, whilst waving a ribbon of red tape and singing oppressive arias, was not yet over for the day. As now that I had finally convinced the Chinese authorities that I should be allowed into their country for a few days, I had to go and seek permission to leave Japan whilst I did so. The Chinese visa situation was annoying, but almost (and I stress the use of the word almost) acceptable, however the very notion that I should have to apply for ‘permission’ to leave Japan, and pay for the privilege of doing so, seems to me nothing more than institutionalized racism and a desire to bleed the gaijin dry of all their money and free will. Thankfully the re-entry process at the Shinagawa Immigration Office wasn’t as painful as some of my previous experiences in that legislative hellhole, but the whole process is just a bloody joke, and not even a very funny one at that.