A train company in Japan has apologised for the ‘severe inconvenience’ caused when a service departed 20 seconds early.The train on Tokyo-area Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company’s Tsukuba Express was meant to leave at 9.44am.But  train instead left at 9:43:40, prompting an official apology on the company’s website.It read ‘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  timetable.


‘We deeply apologize for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers.’The company blamed the crew for failing to ‘sufficiently check  departure time and perform the departure operation’.No customers had complained about the early departure from Minami Nagareyama Station, which is just north of Tokyo, company explained.’We taught the crew so that the basic actions to prevent recurrence are thoroughly carried out,’ the statement read before ending ‘That’s all.’The apology caused amusement among social media users, who said it was why they loved Japan.The Tsukuba Express railway connects Akihabara and Tsukuba, two towns that are about 37 miles apart, a journey that takes about 45-minutes.Japan has one of the world’s most reliable railways and it is extremely rare for a train to depart at a different time to  one scheduled.


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