Tokyo Hotel, Site of 1973 Abduction of Kim Dae-jung, to Close Down

Society Culture

Tokyo, Feb. 15 (Jiji Press)--Hotel Grand Palace in Tokyo, the site of an incident in 1973 in which then South Korean prodemocracy leader Kim Dae-jung, who later became president of the country, was kidnapped, will close down on June 30, it was learned Monday.

The hotel, located in the Iidabashi district in the Japanese capital's Chiyoda Ward, made the decision as its earnings have deteriorated due partly to the impact from the novel coronavirus pandemic. On its website on Tuesday last week, the hotel said that the current business environment is unprecedentedly severe.

Late last year, the hotel announced plans to suspend its operations for a while from July 2021, but it eventually concluded that it will be difficult to continue its business.

The hotel's revenue in 2020 plunged 70 pct from the preceding year, officials said. Opened in February 1972, the hotel in central Tokyo has 24 stories above ground and five below. It has 458 guest rooms.

In the high-profile incident, Kim, who was in Japan at the time to escape from the then military government of South Korea, was abducted from Hotel Grand Palace on Aug. 8, 1973. The former Korean Central Intelligence Agency was suspected to have been involved in the plot. Kim was released in Seoul five days later.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press