Japanese rail company deeply embarrassed its train left 20 seconds early

Japanese railway services are famous for their world-beating punctuality

Trains in Japan are well known for their punctuality.

A Japanese railroad has issued an apology the likes of which Big Apple straphangers are never likely to hear - regrets for a departure that was 20 seconds ... early. But commuters in Japan expect more, so the train company in question said soz for any inconvenience caused.

BANGKOK • Thailand's defence technology agency plans to set up a joint centre with China to produce and maintain military equipment in the latest sign of the strengthening security relationship.

All aboard? A train company in Japan has said sorry after an intercity service departed 20 seconds early.

According to the statement released by Tsukuba Express, the train in question was scheduled to depart Minami Nagareyama Station north of Tokyo at 9:44:40 Wednesday morning local time. "The crew did not sufficiently check the departure time and performed the departure operation", it said in an official statement and "sincere" apology that led to bemusement on the internet.

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The line connects Akihabara in Tokyo with Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture, and on weekday mornings there's supposed to be a northbound train that leaves Minami Nagareyama Station at 9:44 a.m.

Obviously whoever was manning the doors was just 20 seconds too keen to get moving.

While issuing the mea culpa, the company noted that it actually had not received any customer complaints.

The company went on to say that the train left early because staff hadn't checked the timetable.

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