We may have the Big Banana and a Big Merino, a Big Pineapple and a Big Potato, but if Aussies want to see a Big Squid (and who doesn’t?), they’ll have to wait until borders open so they can travel to Noto, Japan.
Like so many others, Noto, a seaside town in the Ishikawa prefecture on Japan’s central-west coast was hit by a significant drop in tourists during the pandemic.
So it reportedly used 25 million yen (almost AUD296,000) from COVID-19 relief grants to build a giant squid statue as part of a long term plan to lure tourists back, Noto officials told local media.
Noto received 800 million yen (a little less than AUD9.5 million) in national grants intended for use boost the economy in regional areas impacted by the pandemic, Yahoo Japan reported.
While these funds did not have to be spent directly on COVID relief, some have criticised the building of the squid using the money.
One local said that the money could have been used for urgent support such as medical staff and care facilities, even if the statue may indeed prove its value in the long run, the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper reported.
Noto is famous for is flying squid, a spokesperson for the town telling Fuji News Network that the statue would be a tourist attraction in promotion of this fact.
Images from Fuji News Network’s YouTube.
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