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Japanese rail company apologises for train leaving 25 seconds early

16 May 2018

"We will be thoroughly evaluating our conduct and striving to keep such an incident from occurring again".

If you think it's a little odd to see the time written like that, rest assured that it's not the normal way of doing things in Japan, but JR West felt it necessary in order to fully disclose the damage, as the train left 25 seconds earlier than its scheduled time of 7:12.

Early Friday morning, a train en route to Nishi-Akashi Station departed Notogawa Station at 7:11:35 a.m. instead of 7:12 a.m. on the dot.

The conductor of the 7.12am train to Nishi Akashi Station in Hyogo Prefecture wrongly thought he was supposed to leave at 7.11am and closed the doors at that time.

The early departure didn't affect any other travel schedules that day, but led to one person missing their train.

However, West Japan Railways said sorry to its customers for causing "great inconvenience" over the incident in Shiga, Sora News24 reported.

Just past year, managers of the Tsukuba Express Line between Tokyo and Tsukuba apologized after a train departed 20 seconds earlier than scheduled, even though passengers did not complain.

But he was caught when a passenger, who he presumably had not seen, complained to a station worker about the early departure of the train. In 2005, a commuter train derailed and killed more than 100 people after the driver, running 90 seconds late, sped up.

Japan's obsession with punctuality has taken a deadly turn in the past, too.

Japanese rail company apologises for train leaving 25 seconds early