A Japanese Rail Network company issued a 'deep apology' for the 'severe inconvenience' caused when a train had a 20 second early departure.
Will India have a similar culture?
Here in India, rail and flights delays are a normality. Because of one reason or another, is a common occurrence. Anything from a few minutes to a few hours goes here, and it has by default become a part of our considerations when we travel.
But another country not far away though, such delays are a serious affair. Very serious indeed. So much so, that even the delay of a few seconds merits a profuse apology from the rail company.
That’s exactly what happened in Japan. A rail company in Japan apologised on Tuesday after one of its trains departed 20 seconds early. Even though no passenger complained.
The management of the Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and Tsukuba city said they “deeply apologize for the severe inconvenience” caused.
The company said in a statement that the train was set to depart at 9:44:40 but left at 9:44:20. The mistake happened because staff had not checked the timetable, the company said.
It said no customers had complained about the early departure from Minami Nagareyama station, just north of Tokyo.
It is rare for trains in Japan, which has one of the world’s most reliable railways, to depart before or after the scheduled time.
They also employ a significant number of staff to ensure that a trains depart promptly and on time to deal with the heavy footfall during the rush hours.
Japan’s bullet apparently trains also offer onboard footbath services for passengers. Brownie points for customer services there!
A spokesperson from the rail company told news agency AFP that the apology was also issued because strict safety instructions were not followed.
“What matters is not the 20 seconds… The point is that our formal procedure should be this. A sound rings 15 seconds before the departure, followed by an announcement asking for caution due to the closing doors, and then the door,” the spokesperson said.
Here’s how the world reacted to the news:
Japan: We’re deeply sorry the train left 20 seconds late
India: Don’t like it, don’t use it.
Uber/Ola: Starts beating customers https://t.co/glzM7l3tL7
— Pankaj K (@deathmach1ne) November 17, 2017
This is what we need in India. Problem is they are sorry but not deeply
Japan train delay apology: Japan railway 'deeply sorry' after train leaves 20 seconds early https://t.co/CU2JCN55p0
— Ravi Shukla (@RaviShukla03) November 17, 2017