Japanese trains are precise to the second so much so that people align their watches to the second according to the train schedule. Thus the news about management on the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba saying that they “sincerely apologise for the inconvenience” caused after their train departed 20 seconds before scheduled departure shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The incident occurred on 14 November when train 5255 arrived at Minamiyukariyama Station at its scheduled time 9:43:40. After the crewman handled the passengers on board after opening the door, the doors of the train were closed without checking the departure time sufficiently. The train departed at 9:44:20 which was just 20 seconds more than the scheduled time.
Though there was no complaint of any passenger not being able to get on the train, still the Tokyo train company published an apology on the website.