Apology after train leaves 20 seconds early

Tokyo train company apologizes for 20-second-early departure

Tokyo train company's apology for 20-second-early departure is one of the best things about Japan

The overly eager train reportedly pulled out of the Minami-Nagareyama station at 9:44:20 a.m. on November 14. But on Tuesday (Nov 14), a train on the Tsukuba Express line in Tokyo failed to stick to its timetable - by leaving 20 seconds early, reported Japan Today, citing SoraNews24.

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

The company in charge of the Tsukuba Express felt the need to issue a public apology for the early departure.

The train was traveling northbound on the line that connects Tokyo's Akihabara station with Tsukuba to the northeast - a trip that takes less than an hour.

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The article listed what it described as "concerning" incidents from earlier in the year, including two cases of where trains stopped in the wrong position and an episode where customers were stuck in elevators at a station for 30 minutes. But when it came time to leave, the overeager crew closed the doors prematurely and pulled out of the station ahead of schedule.

The company released its heartfelt apology despite the fact that it received no customer complaints over the scheduling snafu.

Here's a commuting problem Washington-area rail commuters would love to have: Trains that run so punctually that rail companies profusely apologize for the "severe inconvenience" caused when one accidentally leaves the station early.

Japan is often considered to have one of the world's most reliable railways, with trains rarely departing at a different time to the one scheduled.

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