No squidding: Japanese town spends ¥25 million of COVID-19 funds for giant squid statue
The Japanese port town of Noto in Ishikawa Prefecture has spent a hefty 25 million yen, or P10 million, on a giant squid statue from the city's COVID-19 relief fund. We squid you not.
Laying at a humongous 13 meters or almost 43-feet long, the giant pink squid with its tentacles flaying out in the open is part of the town's “long-term strategy” to boost tourism. It's located near their local food market and across from Tsukumall, where the squid is a popular dish.
The Japanese government didn't give strict regulations on how each town could spend their COVID-19 relief funds, so a giant squid wasn't technically out of the question.
"Since there was a policy from the national government to set a grant as a project to enhance the appeal of the region, I thought that it would be possible to make something with impact and use it as a catalyst for industrial promotion," one of Noto town's local leaders reportedly shared.
It does indeed capture the eye, but Noto citizens have pointed out that the whopping 25 million yen could have been used for more reasonable purchases, especially since the country is still facing a prolonged state of emergency.
“There is an urgent need for support due to the coronavirus disaster, such as medical staff and long-term care facilities,” a woman shared with local Japanese newspaper, Chunichi Shimbun.
Construction of the squid began in October 2020, and its full pink glory can now be seen and enjoyed by every visitor of the small town—at least, once the worldwide pandemic is over.
Photos from TheTonarinopoti YouTube channel