Rail firm sorry for train leaving 20 seconds early
NHK -- Nov 18
An apology by a Japanese railroad operator for a train's early departure has attracted the attention of foreign media.

Earlier this week, a train on the Tsukuba Express line pulled out of a station near Tokyo 20 seconds ahead of schedule.

Although there were no complaints by passengers, the company posted an apology on its website. It said the conductor had failed to double-check the clock.

The mishap has been reported by US and British media.

A comment carried on the BBC website said the same would never happen in the UK, and praised the Japanese railroad system as the most reliable in the world.

The New York Times also commended the railroad operator for living up to passengers' expectations.

But it added that apologies are commonplace in Japanese culture.

運行ダイヤより20秒早く発車した電車。謝罪した鉄道会社に思わぬところから称賛の声が。 欧米メディアが驚きをもって報じたのは、つくばエクスプレスに関するこのおわび。 首都圏新都市鉄道のおわび(14日付):「9時44分40秒の発車のところ、9時44分20秒に発車してしまいました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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