Meanwhile in Japan: Town Spends COVID Relief Fund on Ridiculous Looking Squid Sculpture


Articles about COVID are nothing new. We’ve been living through this global pandemic for well over a year now. In the US, vaccinated numbers are rising and at least a little bit of everyday life is returning to some semblance of normalcy. The same can’t be said for many other countries. While we see the news about the virus’s impact in India, Japan entered a third lockdown back in April. Things are going as well as planned for the country that still grasps to hopes of hosting the summer Olympics. But, its case is being helped by a story out of the coastal town of Noto.

That’s because when this small, ocean-adjacent city in Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture decided that instead of using its COVID relief funds for the intended purpose, they bought a giant squid sculpture. That’s right, a massive pink and white squid sculpture that looks like a prop from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The town was given 800 million yen (roughly $7.31 million) by the central government. The money was expected to be used for COVID relief, to be spent on fighting the virus. Most of the money did likely go to that, which is great. But the government of Noto decided to spend $274,000 on a ginormous squid.

The 42 foot long, 30-foot wide, 13-foot high sculpture might not help with COVID relief, but it might actually work for its intended purpose. The region is well-known for its squid and the locals hope the sculpture helps to bring tourists back to the coastal city. Based on all the news articles about it (including this one), it’s working.

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