A remote fishing town in Japan used government aid related to the Coronavirus to build a giant squid statue that cost more than $ 300,000, a controversial project believed to stimulate domestic tourism.
The pink squid, which is 13 meters long and whose claws unfolds as if hunting prey, was opened in March by the coastal town of Noto (central Japan), as a sign of pride in its catch.
The memorial cost about 27 million yen ($ 302,000) and was funded largely through a national grant aimed at helping municipalities financially affected by the epidemic, such as tourist destinations.
Despite controversy online over the benefits of public spending, local officials said they hope the placement of giant squid in a roadside rest area will spark interest in Japan and elsewhere.
Tourism in our city has been severely affected by the Coronavirus. “We wanted to do something to support local industries, particularly by promoting squid fishing,” a Noto municipality official told AFP.
France Press agency
He added that in addition to closing Japan’s borders to foreign visitors for more than a year and government demands to avoid travel within the country, Noto’s economy has also suffered from a decrease in fishing.
Many people came to see the giant squid this week, which is called “Golden Week” in Japan because it has marked a series of public holidays, the local official said.
The twisted statue seems to delight children, who can climb on it, and photos of the structure have been widely shared on social media.
But cephalopods don’t suit everyone’s taste. “It’s very surreal. What’s also unclear, is why (this project, Editor’s note) qualifies for the National Scholarship,” one Twitter user wrote in Japanese.
“It is not a good idea to spend the tax money on something that is not urgent and unnecessary. Another replied,” The mayor and local politicians should pay for it. “
Others disagreed. “My daughter is going there for a walk this fall. Hope they don’t take it off,” one of them tweeted.