Town in Japan spent $228,000 of Covid relief fund on this large pink squid statue

What better way to spend part of a Covid emergency relief fund than on a 43-foot-long pink squid statue? As Japan faces another Covid surge, with Tokyo under a state of emergency, Noto, Japan – known for their flying squid – spent 25-million yen ($228,000) on this cartoonish squid sculpture in hopes of attracting more tourists. Yep, that oughta do it!

From the BBC:

Noto received 800m yen ($7.3m; £5.3m) through the national grants, which were intended as an emergency economic boost to help regional areas affected by the pandemic, reports Yahoo Japan.

The funds did not have to be spent directly on Covid relief. Some however have criticised the town's administration for spending so much money on the giant cephalopod, especially as the pandemic is not yet over.

One local told the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper that while the statue may be effective in the long run, the money could have been used for "urgent support", such as for medical staff and long-term care facilities.

But a spokesperson for the town told Fuji News Network that the statue would be a tourist attraction and part of a long term strategy to help promote Noto's famous flying squid.