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Only in Japan: Train Company Apologizes for Train That Left 20 Seconds Early

Early or late, a train that leaves "not on time" is unacceptable in Japan.
November 17, 2017, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Japan Rail Transit

"Living up to Japan’s reputation for being precise as well as contrite, a train company in Tokyo delivered a formal apology on Tuesday because one of its trains left a station just 20 seconds early," report Motoko Rich and Makiko Inque.

The Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company "posted an apology on its website Tuesday for 'the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers,'" adds the article. The offending train: the No. 5255 Tsukuba Express train leaving Minami-Nagareyama station in Chiba. The train left at 9:44:20 am, instead of the scheduled departure time of 9:44:40 am.

Rich and Inque don't miss the opportunity to survey the response of transit users in other countries, where less precise systems operate. Twitter was very generous in revealing the envy of transit users. SFGate and BBC News also got in on the fun, reporting the news and finding plenty of social media commentary to wash it down.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, November 16, 2017 in The New York Times
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