Tokyo: In a rare incident, a Japanese railway operator has issued a deep apology for the “tremendous nuisance” caused by a train departing 20 seconds early, surprising even a nation renowned for both punctuality and politeness.
The Tsukuba Express train linking Tokyo and the capital’s northern suburbs pulled out of Minami Nagareyama Station at 9:44:20 instead of 9:44:40.
“We deeply apologise for causing tremendous nuisance to customers,” said the Tsukuba Express company.
“There was no complaint from customers over this incident,” said the firm, which added that no one missed the train due to the premature departure.
Japanese railway services, including shinkansen bullet trains, are famous for their world-beating punctuality. Even the slightest delay prompts an effusive apology from the train guard, which often lasts longer than the hold-up itself.