He's ignoring me. How long until I accept that it's over?

It might be worth considering that my boyfriend is Japanese (25) I'm English (23). We have lived together for 2 years. He is supposed to be returning soon to resume study, as he's temporarily at home. This isn't the first time he has ignored me.

He went home a month ago which should have been for a couple of weeks to get a visa and some other stuff, saying he wanted to call me every day. At one point he ignored me for 5 days, during which I asked him why he was messing me around. He had been to get the visa and found out that he had to wait, and was so depressed, and couldn't bear to give me bad news, and thought I would leave him*** (see below) if he had to stay there. He felt guilty that he couldn't come back on the flight he had booked and have our anniversary.

I was supportive, we talked for four or five days every day after that.

One day he was whispering as he had just overheard his father say that he was being lazy all day.

I should explain that he has no money, and when he went home last year when his visa ran out, ***I handled the distance badly and tried to break up (which I'm not doing now). The last 2.5 weeks of him being in Japan he didn't talk to me at all. He had been arguing with his father who didn't want him to come here, and wouldn't give him the money. He never EVER talks about his problems and felt that if he told me, I would break up with him as I didn't like the distance.

He came back, everything was great.

After the time he was whispering, the next day he'd got some kind of a part time/short term job. I kept calling him the day after because he said he was going to come online and talk but didn't, and he's also said before that he'd like me to call more often and it not always be him. Fair enough, so I called 3 times and a woman picked up the phone, said something in Japanese and hung up. I felt sick immediately thinking he was with somebody, but minutes later he sent me a text message saying he was sorry he couldn't pick up the phone and he was at work and he'd call me after work that day. This was the last message I ever got from him and it was TWO AND A HALF WEEKS ago.

My friends and family try to explain that he's not the kind of guy to cheat, and I know in my heart he's not like that. I don't think that he is with somebody, although that's what my paranoia originally thought. He really is such a nice guy, and seems to shut down whenever he has a problem.

Everyone is telling me that he's got to stay in Japan because he has to work and earn money (being pushed by his angry father) and he can't bring himself to tell me because he never gives me bad news, and he is scared that I might leave him again.

However I sent him a nice e-mail a few days ago being supportive, explaining I can visit him if he can't come back as he believes I won't ever go to Japan. I called 4 times in the last couple of weeks, I don't bombard him.

Is he trying to break up with me? How long do I wait until I assume that it's over? Thanks!
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Sorry it's so long! Basically if anyone else behaves like this, you assume they want to break up. The only thing that makes me think he doesn't is that he's done it before, but he should be back by now. How long is too long if it's already been 2.5 weeks?
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I should add that we have an apartment together here full of his stuff, he is supposed to be coming back to finish studying AND he owes my parents money which I can't imagine him disappearing with forever! I am going to leave the apartment next week
He's ignoring me. How long until I accept that it's over?
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