Officials in Noto, a port town, told local media they built the 13 metre statue – for a cool £164,700 – as part of a plan to lure tourists back after the pandemic. Because what holiday maker wouldn’t get on a long-haul flight to look at a squid?
It comes amid a surge of cases in Japan. Toyko is under a state of emergency and there are record numbers of seriously ill patients in the country.
Noto hasn’t had that many cases but it did get national grants of £5.3 million to boost the economy as it has been impacted by a huge drop in tourists.
And so, somewhere in a local government planning meeting, someone suggested using the money to build a giant squid, and, rather than laughing, others agreed, and it was duly made.
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The funds did not have to be spent directly on Covid relief. Flying squid is also the town’s delicacy so we suppose this was the logic behind the move.
But not everyone was happy about it. Speaking to Chunichi Shimbun newspaper, one local said the money could have been used for “urgent support” such as for medical staff and long-term care facilities.
Others found it funny. One said:
And another added:
We are as baffled as you are.