The town of Noto in Ishikawa received millions of yen due to the impact of covid-19. The money was part of a rural revitalization project to help the countryside in the wake of the virus.
According to Yahoo! News Japan, local governments such as Noto’s would decide how to spend the money, such as infection countermeasures or money to help closed businesses.
Noto is known for squid, and around 25 million yen ($228,181) of the funds were set aside for a huge squid monument to entice tourists to visit the area once the pandemic is over.
The pandemic is not over. Some of the country’s most metropolitan areas, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, are currently under a state of emergency, with covid-19 cases hitting record numbers.
The giant squid is 29.5 feet across, 13 feet high, and over 42 feet long. FNN reports that the total cost of the project was 27 million yen ($246,544).
As Chunichi News adds, there have been questions among locals over whether this was necessary or even an effective way to do PR for Noto.
The individual in charge did claim that the funds didn’t need to have a direct relationship to covid-19 and that the town was taking a long, post-pandemic view with the project.