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17 November 2017, 01:07 | Sammy Green
PC Representational image
The Minami Nagareyama station is halfway on the line connecting Tsukuba, a city located in the northern Kantō region of Japan, to Akihabara station in Tokyo in less than an hour.
Japanese trains are awesome for a number of reasons, not the least of which is how amazingly punctual they are.
A Japanese commuter train company issued a public apology after one of its trains departed 20 seconds earlier than its scheduled time, proving that customer service reigns supreme.
But even a small lapse in punctuality can be disruptive, in part because, as Casey Baseel reports for Sora News 24, some people in Japan synchronize their phones or watches to the time shown in train stations, so they'll be sure to make their train.
The 20-second gaffe may not sound like a big deal, but the Japanese train system is world-famous for its precision and efficiency.
Management who look after the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and Tsukuba released a statement saying that the train should have left at 9:44:40 but instead left at 9:44:20.
At first, I sort of agreed with him.
"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".
However, it ultimately departed earlier than planned at 9:44:20.
Delays are so rare, passengers can even be given a delay certificate to show their workplace or school if trains are delayed by just five minutes.
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