Mon, Jun 11, 2018 — Recently, the management of the Tsukuba Express train line, between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba in Japan, had a serious problem. This “problem” was grave enough to warrant a public apology and touched off a wave of social media attention, in Japan and around the world. What was this grievous issue that required a public issuance of corporate regret and captured the attention of a global audience? Astonishingly, the “offense” was one that would be lauded in about 99.99999 percent of the remainder of the world: One of Tsukuba Express’s trains had departed Tokyo 20 seconds earlier than its scheduled departure time. Worldwide reaction ranged from amazement at the commitment of the Japanese railway to service times, to surprise that such a minor deviation from precision would be headline-making news.