In December 1964, the year following the king’s visit, the Emperor — who was Crown Prince at the time — made his first visit to Thailand with the Empress, then Crown Princess, as Emperor Showa’s proxy. In 1991, the Emperor chose Thailand for his first foreign visit after enthronement. It was welcomed as a “royal visit,” which is a higher rank than a state visit, and the king gave him the Most Auspicious Order of the Rajamitrabhorn, which is the highest royal order of Thailand. In 2006, when the country marked the 60th anniversary of the king’s enthronement, the Emperor visited to attend the celebration ceremony. To watch a parade, a special seat between the king and queen was given to the Emperor.
Among other Imperial family members, Prince Akishino has frequently visited the country. With the cooperation of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the king’s second daughter, he has done research into the process of domesticating chickens.
A senior official at the Imperial Household Agency said: “The Imperial family has very close ties with the long-established royal family of Thailand. In accordance with the Emperor’s intention, his condolences will be expressed. Who will attend the king’s funeral will also be considered.”
Japanese people involved with the king mourned his death. Osamu Akagi, the president of Osaka University of Tourism, who specializes in Thai politics and society, translated the king’s book, which was based on a true story of the king taking a stray dog into his care, into Japanese.
Akagi had an audience with the king in Thailand in 2004. He was impressed by the king’s calm expression as he sat beside a dog and said, “We must care for the environment and for creatures.” After the meeting, Akagi found out that the dog was featured in a bestselling book written by the king and decided to translate it. “He was relied upon profoundly as a ruler of virtue and was so loved by the Thai people,” Akagi said.
Published : October 15, 2016
By : The Japan News<br /> Asia News Network<br /> TOKYO<br />