Recently the NHK News reported the following:
It was clarified that more than 30 years ago Japanese Government had been putting pressure on the South Korea government so that capital punishment was not carried out on the former President Kim Dae-jung of South Korea after Kim was given the death sentence for the crime of plotting the civil war.
This was clarified in the diplomatic document that the South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affair and Trade had opened to the public on the 21st. According to it, in May 1980 in a student-led demonstration the so-called "Gwangju Indicant" that was suppressed by the army, it was assumed that Kim Dae-jung was the leader of the democracy movement at that time and was taking the lead in plotting the demonstration that requested democratization; he received the death sentence for the crime of plotting the civil war. In the same year in November, it was said that Prime Minister Suzuki at that time met ambassador Tse Gyonnoku of South Korea who was residing in Japan to convey the message that "if the maximum penalty is carried out, cooperation with South Korea would turn into a difficult situation" because a minus influence would be given to the relations between Japan and South Korea. In addition, it was clarified that Prime Minister Suzuki had been telling the view that the public opinion in Japan that requested the strengthening of relations with North Korea then South Korea would arise if the capital punishment was carried out. Moreover, in the diplomatic document, it was also recorded that nine assembly members of the House of Representatives of the United States had sent a letter to president Chun Doo-hwan at that time to give a warning that "the relation between the United States and South Korea would fail if Kim is executed". The death sentence on Kim was commuted to life imprisonment in 1981; with the opening of the diplomatic document to the public as the background, it stood out that the change was due to the appeal from Japan and the United States.
In the early 1980s, the course of history in South Korea was changed by efforts of the US and Japan. Kim Dae-jung (1925-2009) less than 20 years later was given the chance to serve his country as the president, from 1998 to 2003.