WORLD renowned for both punctual transport and the need to “keep face” in professional dealings, Japan’s railway companies hold themselves to an exceptionally high standard.
This was demonstrated last week when a train company issued a public apology for a “truly inexcusable” incident where one of its trains left early – 25 whole seconds early.
According to a press release from West Japan Railways (JR West), a train stopped at Notogawa Station in Shiga Prefecture last Friday mistakenly left the station at 7:11:35AM – 25 seconds prior to its scheduled departure of 7:12AM, reported Sora News 24.
“The great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable,” it said.
There were a few customers who had not yet boarded and missed the train, said the press release.
“We will be thoroughly evaluating our conduct and striving to keep such an incident from occurring again,” JR West later added.
It is not the first time a Japanese rail operator has issued a public apology for a train leaving early.
Last November, Metropolitan Intercity Railway Co. in Tokyo apologised for the “tremendous nuisance” caused to its customers after a train left 20 seconds early from the platform.
In fact, at that time the company said there had been no complaint from travellers over the incident.