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Tokyo site of 1973 Kim Dae-jung abduction to pause hotel operations

Grand Palace, popular with overseas tourists, faced 70% decline in bookings

Then-South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, right, is welcomed by then-Japanese Emperor Akihito as he arrives at the Imperial Palace for a luncheon in 2002.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Hotel Grand Palace, where South Korean dissident leader Kim Dae-jung was kidnapped in 1973, will temporarily shut its doors in July, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Earnings have eroded as occupancy rates have plunged, with far fewer tourists and business travelers from within Japan and abroad staying at the property. Banquet and wedding demand has also declined. Despite cost-cutting efforts, resurgent COVID-19 cases in Japan have undercut prospects for a recovery.

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