TOKYO: A Tokyo train management company has issued an official apology after one of its trains left the platform 20 seconds earlier than scheduled.
A northbound train on the Tsukuba Express line in Tokyo left the station at 9:43:40am instead of the scheduled time at 9.44am on Tuesday (Nov 14), according to Japan Today.
The company apologised later in the day, even though it did not receive any customer complaints on the matter.
"We deeply apologise for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers," said Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company in a press statement, adding that the crew did not "check the departure time before performing the departure operation".
The Tsukuba Express line connects Akihabara in Tokyo with Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture.
As Japan's trains are well-known for their punctuality, many residents in Japan tend to plan their commute so that they arrive at the platform just as the train is pulling up, according to Japan Today.
As such, a train leaving 20 seconds early could cause some commuters to miss their trains, resulting in them missing their other transfers along their destinations and snowballing into them being late for work or their appointments, Japan Today said.