Tokyo train company apologises for 20-second early departure

Jon Howard
November 17, 2017

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.

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

BANGKOK • Thailand's defence technology agency plans to set up a joint centre with China to produce and maintain military equipment in the latest sign of the strengthening security relationship. 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?

Management on the Tsukuba Express line said the mistake happened because staff had not checked the timetable.

The Tsukuba Express railway connects Akihabara and Tsukuba, two towns that are about 60 kilometres apart in a 45-minute ride, reports Bloomberg.

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They put a high premium on punctuality in Japan. The company added that the crew of this particular train has been instructed to be more "thorough" in the future about basic train operations. That's right, 20 seconds.

"When departing at 9:44:40 on time, [a crewman] closed the door without checking the departure time sufficiently and departed at 9:44:20", the statement said.

The train company just thought they'd apologise anyway.

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

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