Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Japanese company apologises after train departs 20 seconds early

Japanese company apologises after train departs 20 seconds early

The mistake happened because staff had not checked the timetable, the company statement said.

It left 20 seconds early, reported Japan Today, citing SoraNews24.

The Minami Nagareyama station is halfway on the line connecting Tsukuba, a city located in the northern Kantō region of Japan, to Akihabara station in Tokyo in less than an hour.

Japanese trains are known for their punctuality, and the early departure apparently mortified the Tsukuba Express management.

Train delays might be so common in Britain that we are shocked to our cores when one actually arrives on time, but in Japan it's another story.

Thursday's microscopically early train passed with no apparent impact other than a few laughs on social media, unlike a deadly crash in 2005 that killed more than 100 passengers when the train driver began speeding to make up for a lost 90 seconds in the schedule.

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The company blamed the crew for failing to "sufficiently check the departure time and perform the departure operation".

"We deeply apologize for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers", officials wrote in a statement.

The 20-second gaffe may not sound like a big deal, but the Japanese train system is world-famous for its precision and efficiency.

So yeah, if someone at Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company got reamed out by his boss for a 20-second screw-up, I feel for him, since I don't think it's worth getting that bent out of shape about.

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

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