Huawei Mate S phone bought in Europe want to use it in Japan. Change firmware?

hi to all of you. I bought very recently a Mate S in France for a Japanese friend. But when she went back there, and went to two different phone operators to get a micro sim card, they said that Europe phones won't work in Japan. I called today Huawei France and they told me the same. Phones bought in Europe won't work in Asia, and vice versa.
I can't believe that.
So my question is will it work if we change the firmware and do someone had such experience in the past?
It will be very helpful. Thank you.

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