Udayavni Special

A Japanese town used COVID relief fund to build a 43-foot long statue of a squid


Team Udayavani, May 14, 2021, 1:18 PM IST

A 43-foot long statue of a squid has surfaced in the Japanese seaside town of Noto.

As per BBC’s report, the squid drew criticism when Noto government officials revealed they’d used a chunk of the 800 million yen ($7.3 million) COVID relief grant provided to the town to commission the statue, which cost 25 million yen ($228,500).

In Noto, a sleepy fishing town in northern Japan home to around 17,000 people squid is considered a delicacy. It is used in almost every dish, from sushi to sashimi and tempura.

Officials intended the squid statue to be both a playset for children and an Instagrammable tourist hotspot to promote Noto as a “squid town.”

In an interview with Yahoo Japan, Noto town officials justified the use of funds initially meant for COVID relief saying that the grant, earmarked for regional revitalization – did not necessarily have to be used on COVID-related measures.

An unnamed official told Yahoo Japan, “Since the national government said funds could be used to enhance the region’s appeal, we thought it would be good to make something with impact. It will promote our town and have some economic benefit, as we have seen a huge dip in the number of tourists.”

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