‘Only in Japan’: Tokyo train apologizes for 20-second early departure
One of the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company’s Tsukuba Express line trains left the Minami Nagareyama Station at 9:43:40 instead of 9:44 on Tuesday, sparking apparent panic among employees.
Japanese trains are known for their punctuality, and the early departure apparently mortified the Tsukuba Express management. Before the day’s end, it published an official apology on its website.
“On November 14, at approximately 9:44 a.m., a northbound Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company (main office in Tokyo, Chiyoda Ward, President & CEO Koichi Yugi) train left Minami Nagareyama Station roughly 20 seconds earlier than the time indicated on the timetable,” the statement read. “We deeply apologize for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers.”
For 20 seconds? Meh. The logic is impeccable though. Both early and late are not "on time".— Baka Karasu 馬鹿 八咫烏 (@BakaKarasu) November 16, 2017
only in japan— A.A.H (@fxcstatic) November 16, 2017
Yes.— Anisa Subedar (@TheAnisaSubedar) November 16, 2017
Damn those trains that leave 20 seconds early.🙄https://t.co/Vid6BtdxgQ
Don't know if to laugh or cry at this headline:— Mariette Peters-Goh (@mariettegoh) November 16, 2017
Tokyo train company says sorry for 20-second early departure https://t.co/a4j1P5ydlW
Only in Japan ... I love this country 💜☯️ https://t.co/l1amBS0Vl6— jewels ジュリー (@NomadDragon7) November 16, 2017
While the apology may appear to be overkill, particularly for those of us who deal with erratic public transport on a daily basis, the early departure may have messed up a few commuters’ journeys.
The bit about missing transfers makes sense though— Kherubim (@Kherubim2k) November 16, 2017
The northern line connects Akihabara with Tsukuba, and leaves every four minutes, but if a passenger depends on catching that 9:44 train in order to catch another connecting train at a different station, the early departure could have resulted in them being late to work.