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A train on the Tsukuba Express line in Tokyo departed 20 seconds early on Nov 14, prompting rail operator Tokyo-area Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company to issue an official apology later in the day.
The apology, which was posted on its website, read:
"We deeply apologise for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers."
According to The Straits Times, a north-bound train departed Minami Nagareyama Station at 9.44am on regular weekday mornings.
However, on that day, the train left at 9:43:40 instead, 20 seconds earlier than it was scheduled to.
Japanese trains are known for their punctuality and even though a 20 second difference is hardly noticeable, for commuters in Japan it is significant as some people plan their commute precisely to a tee.