By: Steve Dellar | 11-16-2017 | News
Photo credit: @JPN_cultureblog | Twitter

Japan Apologizes For Train Leaving 20 Seconds Early

Except for Germany and Scandinavia, European rail service is quite crappy. I have no idea how exactly it is in the US, but I can’t believe it is much better. I once took a train in Italy to get from a small town to Venice, and it was truly horrifying how badly this was organized.

Furthermore, train delays are quite common. Just last week there was a story in the French press about a public worker who had vowed to switch to his car again as soon as he would hit 1,000 minutes of delay. He lasted four months.

In the UK two weeks ago, there was national outrage as a teacher said he was quitting his job as he couldn’t deal with the daily commute to London anymore.

So knowing all that, it is always surprising to see how the other half is doing.

Asia in this respect is pretty well apparently. China is already full of bullet trains, and Japan is the leader in that respect.

So when you read that a rail company in Japan apologizes after one of its trains departed 20 seconds early, you must think to yourself: why can’t we do that?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tokyo train company’s apology for 20-second-early departure is one of the best things about Japan <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Stan Yee (@stanyee) <a href="">November 16, 2017</a></blockquote>

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The Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba say they "sincerely apologize for the inconvenience" caused. In its official statement, it could be read that the train had been scheduled to leave at 9:44:40 local time but left at 9:44:20. OMG, the inhumanity.

“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. We deeply apologize for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers.”

Many social media users reacted with surprise.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I once had an Israeli bus driver laugh at me after he closed the door on my hips and drove off with my legs hanging out of the bus. I am so envious of Japan right now. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Sam Sokol (@SamuelSokol) <a href="">November 16, 2017</a></blockquote>

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2 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 12054 2017-11-16 : 15:12

You gotta admire the Japanese for that.

Anonymous No. 12055 2017-11-16 : 15:16

With trains being late is considered ok, but being early can be a death sentence. If you leave early you risk collision with other trains who are exactly on time. This isnt a problem of inconveniencing the few people who missed the train, the real problem is how dangerous this was for the thousands of people on the train. Thank god the train wasnt involved in a collision due to the conductor's ineptitude.

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