Japan town builds giant squid with COVID-19 relief funds

The town of Noto in Ishikawa Prefecture was awarded 800 million yen ($7.31 million) in grants from the central government as part of an aid program aimed at boosting local economies amid the pandemic, according to domestic media. From that amount, Noto used 25 million yen to cover part of the cost of building the statue, which is four meters high and is nine meters long, domestic media reported.

Reuters | Tokyo | Updated: 05-05-2021 12:56 IST | Created: 05-05-2021 12:45 IST
Japan town builds giant squid with COVID-19 relief funds
Flag of Japan Image Credit: ANI

A Japanese coastal town in the western part of the country has drawn ire on social media for using some of the coronavirus relief funds it was given by the government to build a statue of a giant squid in the hopes of boosting tourism. The town of Noto in Ishikawa Prefecture was awarded 800 million yen ($7.31 million) in grants from the central government as part of an aid program aimed at boosting local economies amid the pandemic, according to domestic media.

From that amount, Noto used 25 million yen to cover part of the cost of building the statue, which is four meters high and is nine meters long, domestic media reported. Total construction costs were around 30 million yen, they said. Japan is battling the fourth wave of coronavirus infections and the cabinet approved a $708 billion stimulus package in December to help the economy recover from the pandemic-induced slump.

Squid is a local delicacy in Noto and building the statue was part of a "long-term strategy" to raise awareness about the town's fishing industry and increase tourism, a local government official said, according to domestic media. Reuters called Noto's government but the person who answered was not authorized to speak with the press. Japan's government buildings were closed on Wednesday for annual Golden Week holidays.

The grants were not specifically earmarked for spending related to treating coronavirus patients, and Ishikawa Prefecture's infection rate is low compared to other parts of Japan, according to local media. However, some people took to Twitter to question whether those funds should have been used for other purposes.

"No matter how you look at it, this is wrong. They have to return that money," one Twitter user said. Construction of the pink cephalopod began in October 2020, and the finished statue was finally moved to its current home in March of this year, local media reported. ($1 = 109.3700 yen)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Blockchain in Healthcare: Opportunities and challenges

The use of blockchain in healthcare is a relatively new innovation with many of its uses still being explored and related technologies being developed, improved, and scaled. ...

Debate surrounding vaccine passports and development misses bigger picture

... ...

Blockchain vs IOTA: Looking for a better alternative

... ...

For stability, Iraq needs to crack down on corruption

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Gaza residential tower collapses in Israeli airstrike, witnesses say

A 13-storey residential tower in the Gaza Strip was hit by an Israeli air strike on Tuesday night and soon after collapsed, witnesses said, amid a surge in fighting between Israel and Gaza militants.The tower houses an office that is used b...

Assam reports record 85 COVID deaths, highest one-day spike of

Assam on Tuesday registered 127 COVID-19 fatalities, its highest in a single day so far, taking the death toll to 1,838, a bulletin issued by the National Health Mission said.The tally also went up to 3,04,429 after the state reported a rec...

Xinjiang human rights controversy is souring relations between China and West: Report

The controversial human rights violations by Chinese authorities in Xinjiang province are contributing to the souring relations between Beijing and West, as per South China Morning Post report. As per the report, the rising tensions pose r...

Elgar Parishad accused Hany Babu suffering from eye infection, family says

Delhi University assistant professor Hany Babu, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, is suffering from acute eye infection, his family said on Thursday, seeking proper medical treatment for him.Babu, arrested in July 2020, is...

Give Feedback