Train in Japan Departs 20 Seconds Too Early, Company Issues Grovelling Apology

Train in Japan Departs 20 Seconds Too Early, Company Issues Grovelling Apology

A northbound train on the Tsukuba Express line in Tokyo left the station at 9:43:40am instead of the scheduled time at 9.44am on Tuesday (Nov 14), according to Japan Today.

One amused reader said: "This train company's apology for a 20-second-early departure is one of the best things about Japan".

The early departure happened on the Tsukuba Express, which travels between the city of Tsukuba - around an hour south of Tokyo - and Akihabara, a district on the eastern side of the Japanese capital.

Japanese train services are famed for their punctuality, with significant delays relatively uncommon.

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Japanese trains are awesome for a number of reasons, not the least of which is how amazingly punctual they are. I doubt most people would even notice a 20-second difference, and with trains coming every four minutes on the Tsukuba Express line in the morning, does it really make much of a difference?

"We deeply apologize for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers", the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company said, in a translation by Sora News 24. "The crew did not sufficiently check the departure time and performed the departure operation", it said in an official statement and "sincere" apology that led to bemusement on the internet.

Obviously whoever was manning the doors was just 20 seconds too keen to get moving.

The company apologised later in the day, even though it did not receive any customer complaints on the matter.

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