Tokyo Train Company Issues Apology For 20-Second Early Departure

Tokyo train company apologizes for 20-second-early departure

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

Passengers who catch the firm's Tsukuba Express service from Akihabara in eastern Tokyo can expect to reach Tsukuba, which is just short of 36 miles away, in about 45 minutes.

But on Tuesday, a train on the Tokyo-area Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company's Tsukuba Express line failed to stick to its timetable.

A rail company in Japan has apologised after one of its trains departed 20 seconds earlier than scheduled. "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. It was supposed to leave one minute later, at 9:44:40 - but instead, it left at 9:44:20. That's right, 20 seconds.

Management on the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba say they "sincerely apologise for the inconvenience" caused.

Japanese trains are world-renowned for their reliability and exact punctuality to the timetable, meaning commuters can arrive at the platform exactly on time for a train.

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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