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Japanese train departs 25 seconds early – again

May 16, 2018
Japanese commutersImage copyrightGetty Images

A Japanese rail company has apologised after a train left a station 25 seconds early, the second such case in months.

The operator said the “great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable”.

If the details are anything to go by, customers are faced with slipping standards: a train last November left 20 seconds early while this time it was a full 25 seconds premature.

As was to be expected, social media has been making the most of the story.

Skip Twitter post by @HarrisAzhari

What a shame Japan!!? Early departure for 25 second? What if I only can catch the train 4 seconds before departure!?? ๐Ÿ˜‚

โ€” Azhari Harris (@HarrisAzhari) May 16, 2018

End of Twitter post by @HarrisAzhari

According to Japan Today, the train conductor thought his train was scheduled to leave Notogawa Station at 07:11 instead of the actual scheduled time of 07:12 on Friday.

After closing the doors to the commuter train one minute early he realised his mistake and still could have averted the looming embarrassment.

But as he couldn’t spot any waiting passengers on the platform, he decided to go head and leave early – rolling out of the station 25 seconds ahead of time.

Skip Twitter post by @railadvo

Headline: The West Japan Railway Company has apologised after a train in central Japan departed its platform 25 seconds early. pic.twitter.com/U18DKtko5d

โ€” Peter J LeCody (@railadvo) May 16, 2018

End of Twitter post by @railadvo

Skip Twitter post by @AndrewCruzeUK

Love it – only in Japan does a train company apologise unreservedly for an inexcusable lapse of service . . . The train left 25 second early! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ#lovejapan

โ€” Andrew Cruze (@AndrewCruzeUK) May 15, 2018

End of Twitter post by @AndrewCruzeUK

Japanese trains have a reputation for extreme punctuality, and it turned out that there were indeed still people hoping to get onboard.

Left on the platform, they complained to the rail operator and an official apology was issued shortly afterwards.

Image copyrightAFP
Image caption Japanese trains have the reputation of being extremely punctual

In the case last November, management on the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba said they “sincerely apologise for the inconvenience” caused.

Back then the mishap was also caused by the conductor mixing up departure times – though no passenger was left behind.