Tuesday, the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company apologized for the early departure of a train from the station of Minami Nagareyama. It had indeed departed at 9:44:20 AM, which is 20 seconds earlier than the formal time of 9:44:40 AM.
The company expressed its apologies because “the railway employees did not verify correctly the departure time”.
Punctuality is a sacred tradition for the railway companies in Japan. In 1997, the accumulated delays of the high speed trains, called Shinkansen, was 18 seconds. In 2014, it was less than one minute.