A Japanese Town Used COVID-19 Funds to Build a Giant Squid
A Japanese town is in hot water after it was discovered it used stimulus funds meant for COVID response to build a giant squid sculpture.
The unsettling sculpture cost the town of Noto in the Ishikawa Prefecture a staggering P13 million ($274,000). Noto received about P450 million ($9.4 million) from the national government to help revive its economy. Part of that money was spent on designing and building the pink cephalopod.
Angry Japanese citizens took to Twitter to express their outrage on how the town used the stimulus package.
“No matter how you look at it, this is wrong. They have to return that money,” wrote a Twitter user.
According to local media, the funds for Noto were not specifically earmarked for spending on COVID patients. Ishikawa Prefecture’s infection rate also fares better than the rest of the country.
Noto is famous for its squid industry. The “flying squid” is a local delicacy sought after by tourists. That may be the reason why Noto’s town officials decided to build a ten-armed monument—to spur tourism and raise the town’s profile as a squid destination.