The small town of Noto, Ishikawa has received millions of Yen due to the impact of COVID-19. The funds were allocated as part of a project to help in the aftermath of the pandemic. According to Yahoo News Japan, local governments like Noto’s are allowed to use the money in whatever way they deem necessary.
Noto is known for squid, specifically flying squid, which is considered a delicacy, and approximately 25 million Yen ($228,181) of the funds were set aside for a huge squid monument.
FNN reported that the giant squid measuring 29.5 feet across, 13 feet high and over 42 feet long, for a total cost of 27 million Yen ($246,544).
Though the pandemic is not over, with places such as Tokyo, Osaka, and others hitting record high case numbers, the town hoped to use the statue to encourage tourists to visit once after the pandemic. Chunichi News added that there have been questions by locals whether this was a good or necessary way to advertise tourism.
One local told the Chunichi Shimbun Newspaper that the money could have been better spent for medical needs and long-term care facilities. The person in charge of the project said that the funds received by the town were not directly related to COVID and could therefore be used elsewhere.
Noto has received 800m Yen ($7.3m) through national grants, which were intended as emergency economic funds to help local towns survive the pandemic, according to Yahoo.