According to the Japanese, being early is not the same as being on time.
On 11 May, a railway company had to issue an official apology after one of its trains left almost half a minute earlier than scheduled. 25 seconds to be exact.
The error occurred when the train's conductor misunderstood the departure time and sent out a signal for the train to leave ahead of schedule
However, there were actually a few passengers on the platform whom the conductor failed to notice. One of them lodged a report to JR West.
"The great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable. We will be thoroughly evaluating our conduct and striving to keep such an incident from occurring again," the apology as translated by SoraNews24 reads.
As a result, those stranded passengers had to wait six minutes for the next train to arrive, which was scheduled to reach Nishi-Akashi at 9:20 am. The delay meant students and workers could've gotten into trouble.
In a country where punctuality is of utmost importance, you can bet being six minutes late is a big deal.
A similar incident happened last year where a train travelling between Tokyo and Tsukaba left the station 20 seconds earlier than expected: