Japanese rail company sorry train departed 25 seconds early, 2nd incident in 6 months

Service standards really going down.

By Belmont Lay | May 17, 2018

Another rail company in Japan has apologised after a train left the station 25 seconds earlier than scheduled.

This is the second such case in six months in a country where train punctuality is a way of life.

The operator said the “great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable”.

In November 2017, a train left 20 seconds early and issued an official apology, which was greatly appreciated by the rest of the world.

What happened?

According to Japan Today, the train conductor thought his train was scheduled to leave Notogawa Station on Friday at 7.11am 35 seconds instead of the actual scheduled time of 7.12.

When the conductor closed the doors to the commuter train one minute early, he realised his mistake but did not do anything to avert the impending embarrassment.

As he couldn’t spot any waiting passengers on the platform, he decided to just leave early.

The train eventually rolled out of the station 25 seconds ahead of time.

However, there were still commuters hoping to get onboard.

They complained to the rail operator about being left on the platform.

The West Japan Railway Company (JR West) issued an official apology shortly afterwards.

JR West told newspaper Asahi: “We inconvenienced our customers very much, and we will strive to prevent this from occurring again.”


In the case last November, management on the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba said they “sincerely apologise for the inconvenience” caused.

No passengers were left behind that time but the mishap was also caused by the conductor mixing up departure times.

About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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