I just love this story. On several levels.
Firstly, there's the element of UK-centric incredulity. Here, in a service culture that routinely abuses its customers. 20 mere seconds? Secondly, in Japan it's a non-story, and certainly not one to make the front page of the state media. Any Japanese person would agree that of course they ought to apologise. "What's strange, or newsworthy, about that?"
I hear some Japanese people thinking, especially as the head of the rail network has yet to resign over it.... And thirdly there are the comments under the article - themselves rather enlightening. Japanese expectations of customer service are on another planet. There is much we could learn from them.