March 6, 2017
Bangkok- Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko paid tribute to the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Sunday after their arrival in Bangkok in the afternoon.
The Imperial couple also met with new King Maha Vajiralongkorn to offer their condolences. The couple arrived in the Thai capital aboard Japanese government aircraft after finishing their official trip to Vietnam that began Tuesday. Following their arrival, the couple went to the hotel they would stay at, on the late king's favorite cream Rolls-Royce car. At the hotel, they were welcomed by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the second daughter of the late king. After exchanging greetings with her for half an hour, the Imperial couple headed for the palace where the body of the late king, who died in October last year, is lying. The Emperor and the Empress bowed deep in front of the altar at the coffin, where flowers offered by the couple were placed.
As Buddhist scriptures were being read, the couple mourned over the death of the former king, with whom the couple had maintained friendly relations over the past half century. The couple moved on to a different room and signed the condolence book before meeting with the new king. According to the Imperial Household Agency, the king met with the Imperial couple without an interpreter or anybody else, in line with his wish. The couple is the first overseas head of state-class dignitaries that the king has met since he rose to the throne. During their 35-minute meeting, the couple expressed their condolences, while the king offered gifts, the Japanese agency said. The Emperor and the Empress are set to return to Japan Monday night. Jiji Press
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