A Japanese town has drawn much criticism on social media after it used a part of its COVID-19 relief fund to build a giant statue of a squid.
The squid statue lies in the port of Noto is four metres high and nine metres long. It is reported that 25 million yen (Rs 1.68 crore) from the emergency fund to build the giant pink statue.
Though the Nota officials told local media that the statue is a part of the coastal town's long term plan to attract tourists after the pandemic, but it draws much criticism as the country is battling another surge in COVID-19 cases. Many social media users criticised the town's administration for spending such a big amount of money on the statue, at a time when the pandemic isn't over.
The town Noto has reported a very low number of cases and has seen a significant drop in tourists. The emergency funds did not have to be spent directly on COVID-19 relief.
Even according to the locals they opined that even though the statute may be effective in the long run, the funds could have been used for "urgent support", such as for medical staff and long-term care facilities.
The statue would be a tourist attraction and part of a long term strategy to help promote Noto's famous flying squid. The construction had begun in October 2020 and the finished statue was put up on display in March this year.