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Japan's imperial couple pays tribute to late Thai king

Bhumibol Adulyadej, wife Sirikit had special relationship with Akihito, Michiko

Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand, center, greets Japanese Emperor Akihito, right, and Empress Michiko, left, as they arrive at their hotel in Bangkok on March 5.

BANGKOK -- When Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko offered a bouquet at the coffin of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Akihito appeared pensive as he fixed his gaze at the altar for a while.

It was a sober moment when Akihito's friend died in October. The imperial couple, who flew in from Vietnam, the first leg of their tour, were in Bangkok to pay their respects at the royal palace.

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