One thing you can always rely on in Japan is punctuality, so much so that a train line sent out an official apology this week for leaving a station 20 seconds early. No, not minutes, but seconds.
The Tsukuba Express line – which travels between Tokyo and Tsukuba – regrettably left a station at 9:44:20, rather than 9:44:40. The staff was to blame for not properly reading the schedule.
"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you by our customers," the apology letter said. And later in the letter: "The crewman handled the passengers on board after opening the door. After that, when departing at 9:44:40 on time, I closed the door without checking the departure time sufficiently and departed (departure operation) at 9:44:20."
By the way, not one passenger complained of the mishap. Phew!