Japan Rail Company Apologises After Train Departs 20 Seconds Early

Japan railways are known for their efficiency and punctuality. However, they may have been “too punctual” this time around, and left 20 seconds ahead of the schedule.

Passengers boarding the Tsukuba Express from Minami Nagareyama station were unaware of anything amiss when the train, which arrived right on time, departed at 9.44.20am instead of 9.44.40am on Tuesday.

Most people wouldn’t even bat an eyelash at the minor mistake, however, the operator believed the mistake was dire enough to warrant an apology to the passengers. Because of this, the company’s management team issued a statement apologising for the early departure on the Tsukuba Express line.

“We deeply apologise for causing tremendous nuisance to customers,” said the Tsukuba Express company.

According to the company statement, the mix-up happened because the staff had not checked the timetable thoroughly.

“The crew did not sufficiently check the departure time and performed the departure operation,” it said.

Japan railways have always been strict and adamant on punctuality. Delays are not tolerated, and even the slightest delay calls forth repeated apologies from the train guard. Due to the overwhelming number of passengers who rely on the railways to go to school, work or around town, even the briefest delays could cause extreme inconvenience.

Impressed commuters all over the world praised Japan for its never-failing efficiency, and continued to tweet stories about their local train operators, where delays were a common situation: