We Indians are so accustomed to trains getting late that we don’t even mind a train getting late by half an hour or even few hours.Sometimes the trains are even delayed by 15-20 hours or even worse they are even canceled after such a long wait. What follows is a simple computerized apology.

However, this is not the case with Japan, Japanese people and trains are known for their punctuality. But on Tuesday, a train on the Tokyo-area Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company’s Tsukuba Express line failed to stick to its timetable.The train was supposed to leave the station at 9:44 a.m. However, the train instead left at 9:43:40, 20 seconds earlier than it’s supposed to.

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Before the day was done, the Tsukuba Express management issued an official apology, posted on the company’s website.

The statement 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 the timetable. We deeply apologize for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers.”

Apology for leaving 20 secs earlier, it may sound amazing or weird to us, but reportedly Japanese trains are usually so punctual that some people plan their rail commutes so that they arrive at the platform just as the cars are pulling up.

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Now it seems like a legit reason, that at least a few people would miss a train if it left 20 seconds earlier than usual, and even if there’s another coming in four minutes, adding four minutes to that delay of their commute might cause them to miss other transfers on the way to their destinations, with the effect snowballing enough that they end up being late for work or school.

The move really sets an example and a lot of countries need to learn about the meaning of punctuality and avoiding the troubles caused to the travelers due to their action.

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