Once again, a Japanese passenger train operator has apologised for the most grievous of mistakes: one of their services left the platform precisely 25 seconds early, which caused a single passenger to miss their ride.

The incident occurred when a West Japan Railway Company (JR-West) service departed the Notogawa Station at 7:11:35am on May 11, when it was very clearly scheduled to depart at exactly 7:12am.

In its incident report, the company said a conductor misinterpreted the departure time before signalling the premature train on its way.

An apology notice published in the Asahi newspaper said “the great inconvenience we placed upon our customers was truly inexcusable.”

A subsequent message from the company was somehow even more contrite, as JR-West said it “will be thoroughly evaluating our conduct and striving to keep such an incident from occurring again.”

Japanese public transport routes are recognised for their punctuality, and other companies have issued their own apologies for similar errors in the past.

A more cynical take would suggest JR-West simply wanted to remind customers that they’re actually spot the vast majority of the time, but hey.

We hope that one passenger made it to wherever they needed to be on time – or within 25 seconds of it.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Image: Eric Lafforgue / Art In All Of Us / Getty Images