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Town of Noto, Japan uses $228K in COVID-19 relief funds to build giant squid statue

The town of Noto, Japan has drawn attention after they used COVID relief funds to build a giant squid statue.

The town was given 800 million Yen ($7.3 million) in overall relief and spent 25 million Yen ($228k) to cover part of the cost for a 13-foot-high and 29.5-foot-long squid statue. The town hopes that the squid statue will help to boost tourism. An additional 30 million Yen ($274k) was spent on the construction of the squid. 

Squid in a local delicacy in the town of Noto and a local government official stated that the statue was apart of a “long-term strategy” to raise awareness about the town’s fishing industry and increase tourism. Like many countries, Japan’s tourism industry has been badly hit since the start of the COVID pandemic.

According to local media in the area, the grants given to the town were not specifically earmarked to treat COVID patients and the infection rate is low compared to other parts of Japan. Some residents expressed concern with the decision and were upset that the money given will not be used to help those who need urgent support. Recently Tokyo declared another state of emergency after seeing another major spike in cases.

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ARTICLE: DUSTIN RODGERS

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK POST

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