“The great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable.”
On Friday morning, Japanese rail company JR-West issued an apology, not because one of its trains was late, but because one of its trains left 25 seconds early.
The 12-car train departed from Notogawa Station for Nishi-Akashi Station at 7:11:35 am, when it was supposed to leave 7:12 am.
As it turns out, the error was due to the conductor misunderstanding the departure time. This lapse led to several passengers getting left behind, and with one angry commuter sending the company a complaint.
In many countries, authorities would just shrug off an incident like this, but not in Japan, where railway services are held to ridiculously high standards.
“The great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable,” a JR-West spokesperson said. “We will be thoroughly evaluating our conduct and striving to keep such an incident from occurring again.”
Last year, a similar incident occurred when the operator of the Tsukaba Express apologised after a train from Tokyo to Tsukaba left 20 seconds early.
C’mon, Japan. Get your sh*t together. That’s two incidents in a row now.