A giant squid statue built using coronavirus disease (COVID-19) subsidies is seen in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture. Photo: Youtube@TheTonarinopoti/Social Media via REUTERS.
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Ishikawa town builds giant squid with COVID relief funds

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This is the stupidest and ugliest idea I've ever seen.

There were hundreds other and better ways to boost tourism. Above all, there were hundreds of other ways to use that money in this pandemic time

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this showed up on my Twitter feed. I guess if you want to have your name known that worked, but not the way you want

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Building a squid statue is more than Suga has done to stem the pandemic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If they build statues of a giant bag of panko and a bottle of Bulldog Sauce I will put this town on my bucket list.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That thing will scare the Covid right out of you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is by far the best giant pink squid statue I have ever seen. I would go as far as saying....

It is exceedingly good!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would be curious to know on how this "tourist attraction" construction from public money has been attributed.

Open tender? At least 3 quotations...?

I can smell the brown fatty envelope from miles away.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ah... Money well spent.

Peter Griffin.

I think Peter Griffin is smarter than that; he probably would have spent it all on ale.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a waste of money.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well Tokyo tower works ... Can you blame them ? Japanese love kitsch I

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lovely...not.

I bet they're going to apply for unesco status next.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a stupid idea and waste of money. Creative though I guess.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

30 million is over the top expensive. Could have done it for 10 million.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That artist got a good contract! There's no way that structure cost even half that!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The sculpture put people to work. It paid for supplies and labor to create.

In other words... jobs.

True but it is also possible to provide people with jobs that result in something actually useful being done.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Their plan to generate more tourism has unintentionally worked. Lots of publicity. Now everyone in Japan knows where to go to visit the big pink squid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don't forget they also bought useful things with the money !

Such as ... lawn mowers ...

https://www.fnn.jp/articles/-/174201

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is soooo Japan! “We don’t need any Covid relief coz we have very few cases. Let’s use the money to build a giant squid so everybody will come and take a photo of it.” The fact they will also bring their Covid is irrelevant.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have heard of a pink elephant in the room, but not squid ,,,,,but this is Japan

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You can't make this up

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A squid???!!!! Looks like an elephant to me. And the pink hue is turning white.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A great idea! Japan really comes up with winners every single time. Amazing! I am making plans to see this squid next week. I bought a new camera to take thousands of pictures. This is a highly intelligent way to get people to come to the area to see this statue. I love it. The design is spot on. Im taking a tour! Happy now!

; - 0

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The sculpture put people to work. It paid for supplies and labor to create.

In other words... jobs.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

People starving in the middle of a global pandemic, they decide to put the money into this.

Would love to hear how they came up with this idea.

Umm...to promote tourism during the pandemic so they don’t have starve?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

In fact, it’s practically their own beforehand tax paid money, having come back by that corona pandemic government fund money. So it’s not our cup of tea, what they do with it. They have worked for it and can consume it as they like. They can of course feed the poor, support children and families , seniors, disabled, homeless people etc., put it in science and education, support all of the local economy, or like in this case do something completely stupid and throw it out if the window, putting a not even eatable squid on display.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What a great example of the profligacy of this government (indeed many others around the world) in just printing money indiscriminately. The squids are going to come home to roost someday.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This reminds me of the late 80s/early 90s when all the municipalities across Japan got a million dollars each from the national government to encourage investment in things to develop or strengthen their local commerce.

The results in many places, which many here have probably seen, are giant dinosaur parks, weird abstract art pieces, cartoon character hobby museums, turtle statues, etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People starving in the middle of a global pandemic, they decide to put the money into this.

Would love to hear how they came up with this idea.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well, the money was for economic development and the squid was for increase tourism and more tourism means better economics..

Maybe in theory.

In the reality of the physical universe we actually inhabit however a 9 metre long concrete squid is never going to attract any tourists at all, nor is it going to have any benficial economic impact.

Even small town bureaucrats should know have known this and they deserve to be ridiculed for their sheer stupidity in approving this.

Just 30 millions, no drama here..

That is 30 million Yen being spent in a town with only 7600 households, which works out to about 4,000 Yen each. That is an insane level of waste for a FRICKING CONCRETE SQUID!

The squid looks awesome !!

That probably makes you the first person to say so.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The town of Noto in Ishikawa Prefecture was given 800 million yen in grants from the central government as part of an aid program aimed at boosting local economies amid the pandemic, according to domestic media

Well, the money was for economic development and the squid was for increase tourism and more tourism means better economics..

Just 30 millions, no drama here..

The squid looks awesome !!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I have a favorite restaurant there. Their squid dish is very, very delicious. I wish I go there now, but with losing my business and being forced to wear a mask on a plane, I can only dream.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In free enterprise, people spend their own money as they see fit, and whether you think someone else is spending their own money in a bad way is irrelevant - it isn’t your money so why would you care.

That isn't actually how most money controlled by "free enterprise" works in the world today. I mean, yes, if you run your own small business that is how it works, but small business owners don't control much of the economy. The people making decisions about how to spend money (mostly corporate executives, fund managers, etc) are never making decisions about how to spend their own money, but rather they are spending other people's money. And if we are going to evaluate their performance by the same criteria you are using to villify government then we'd have to conclude that the solution to all our problems is to eliminate free enterprise because (gasp) sometimes human beings working in complex organizations where they have to contend with multiple interests make decisions that are objectively stupid regardless of whether said organization is government or business.

I am not sure you understand what free enterprise means.

Its a term without a precise legal definition so I've been interpreting it, based on what you have said, as a preference for decision making authority to be placed in the hands of private parties operating in markets rather than in the hands of government.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They should put it in the harbour to drive off North Korean privateers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Someone (some people?) actually thought this was a good idea!

Squid is a local delicacy in Noto

Yeah, and in a thousand other places. Let me guess - it tastes better there, right? Give back the rest of the relief money. Now!

The fact that is a delicacy in other places is precisely why they need this statue to stand out. Good forward thinking instead of blowing the money on temporary measures.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why, so we can watch free enterprise waste money hand over fist on stupid stuff instead of local governments?

In free enterprise, people spend their own money as they see fit, and whether you think someone else is spending their own money in a bad way is irrelevant - it isn’t your money so why would you care. Let others love their lives as they please, and expect the same in return.

Cuz if you think free enterprise in small town Japan is incapable of building stupid eyesores then you've obviously never been to any small town in Japan.

I am not sure you understand what free enterprise means.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There's something fishy going on here....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is hardly the first of its kind. There is a whole series of roadside "Big things" all across Australia that fit in nicely with the squid:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia%27s_big_things

And plenty across North America as well:

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/18-great-big-things-that-are-both-big-and-great

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At that price tag, one can wonder whether the project and selected vendor were purposely set up to legally channel the funds elsewhere.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nice to see that the government can throw money at nonsensical things like this instead of oh, I don't know...tackling the current pandemic and accelerating a vaccine rollout that is embarrassingly slow? Yikes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Someone (some people?) actually thought this was a good idea!

Squid is a local delicacy in Noto

Yeah, and in a thousand other places. Let me guess - it tastes better there, right? Give back the rest of the relief money. Now!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well then, Let’s just all say: “No to GoTo Noto”. - Societal shunning and shaming is the norm here for correcting incorrect behavior.

Unfortunately, the “good people of Ishikawa Pref” will suffer more for the local administrations financially-irresponsible thinking.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I guess that's a better move than putting it directly into corrupt politician's (redundant) pockets? It's not like the public was going to see any of it go to a more useful cause anyways. This is Japan, people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ha ha ha, nationwide and international media too notice, job done.

Noto, I like your style

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

One thing's for sure. next time I'm in Japan I'm not going to turn to my wife and say "Hey. let's go to Noto, I hear they have a giant pink concrete squid there."

Although...

GBR48 Today 9.09am...

It is a very nice giant pink squid and a good photo opportunity, but for 200,000 squid, sorry, quid, it seems quite pricey. For that figure, I'd expect it to glow in the dark, undulate its tentacles and sing a haunting enka tune when the sun goes down.

Well if it could do all that, then I'd reconsider, obviously.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

An irresponsible waste of money.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Considering the tentacles…..it might be of interest to hentai anime fans.

Needs a sperm whale to go with it, though.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

A friend of a friend got well paid" .......I can't wait to go there and see it'

0 ( +1 / -1 )

25 million yen to partly cover the 30 million yes that it cost ....Got You ....HaHa

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The grants were not specifically earmarked for spending related to treating coronavirus patients, and Ishikawa Prefecture's infection rate is low compared to other parts of Japan, according to local media.

It may be a valid point.

However, some people took to Twitter to question whether those funds should have been used for other purposes.

Such criticism always happens almost anywhere and anytime, either peacetime or crisis. The central question is whether the fund was fairly redistributed and the process was transparent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Someone's friend got a well-paid gig.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Something fishy here!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

We need a smaller government, free enterprise and people who earn the money deciding how to use the money. Lest further will be wasted in such ways.

Why, so we can watch free enterprise waste money hand over fist on stupid stuff instead of local governments?

Cuz if you think free enterprise in small town Japan is incapable of building stupid eyesores then you've obviously never been to any small town in Japan.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It might be thinking out of the box. I think it was a good idea. Good advertising.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Over 50% of the Japanese coastline is concrete, not natural, so what better, I suppose, than celebrating with a concrete squid - so over-fished that one day we'll need a reminder of what they look like - and a tetrapod - though there's no danger in this country of tetrapods going extinct!

Why couldn't they have planted some flowers, put up some benches where people can sit and relax, perhaps a couple of trees, a kids's playground? No, this is Japan, it has to be a load of ugly concrete rubbish. There's only ever one choice here.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

CUTE!!

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Again, central government is the cause of the problem and not the solution.

Who would feel inclined to pay higher taxes when faced with this?

We need a smaller government, free enterprise and people who earn the money deciding how to use the money. Lest further will be wasted in such ways.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Better look into the relationship with the artists, designers and builders with officials. I quite like it. But should not have been done with covid money. Fishy smell about this

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A perfect example of wasting money in such times and a poor sense of responsibility.

So much for the whole narrative that Japanese have a higher morale compared to others.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

The irony being, of course, that now they have a lot less money to use for what it was intended, the prefecture will suffer more from Covid, and there will be less if any tourism.

I mean.... usually they make a MODICUM of effort to try and cover misuse of funds. I guess not here.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

”NOTO” Travel Campaign?

Reminds me of something.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

-You can't buy this kind of publicity.

You can. It costs 30m Yen.

It is a very nice giant pink squid and a good photo opportunity, but for 200,000 squid, sorry, quid, it seems quite pricey. For that figure, I'd expect it to glow in the dark, undulate its tentacles and sing a haunting enka tune when the sun goes down.

It has certainly put Noto on the map but they could have done that for free by streaming council meetings on YouTube wearing nothing but hats with (smaller) pink plastic squid on them.

In the last century, a lot of towns used to do stuff like this, building a giant version of something and then selling postcards featuring the world's biggest tomahawk or the world's biggest wine barrel, to publicise their local thing. Not sure whether Noto has the world's biggest squid or not. Any challengers?

Nobody has mentioned the concrete thing with the smiley faces on it yet.

Although ethically questionable, if the government handed over a sack of cash with no strings attached, building a statue of a giant squid may not be the worst thing they could have done, and it has certainly put them on the map.

The big question regarding the Covid Squid remains unanswered in this article - what is its name? Maybe they will just call it Noto, like the town.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I used to think the problem was corruption and incompetence.

But more and more I am starting to think dementia by most of those in government.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

to raise awareness about the town's fishing industry

I wonder what percentage of Japanese people don't know that you can eat seafood at the Japan Sea. It must be very low. "Raising awareness" must be the greatest justification ever, because you never have to demostrate any results for the money you are spending.

It may be ironic that they've chosen a huge squid, because the squid catch has pretty much collapsed, down about 80% (!) compared to 20 years ago. The individual squid that are being caught are also much smaller.

http://www.zen-ika.com/ika/data_2_gyokaku.html

The bay in the photo looks quite nice, so its a pity there is a gaudy statue and a tetrapod in the way.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

They could have fixed up their 80's looking aquarium, which is an actual tourist attraction. If I actually heard someone say, Hey let's travel to Noto to see the giant squid, I think I would cry from how pitiful that idea would be.

Unfortunately, the aquarium is not part of the town of Noto.

Honestly, there's nothing to see in Noto-cho...until now. lol It's just a place to drive through to get to Suzu.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The whole country is dotted with monstrous eyesores like this.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I'm in the right business, but need better contacts in government to cash in on this covid relief funding scam.

No denying that there is something very fishy about this statue.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

SAY NO TO NOTO?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

In the meantime, Tokyo government probably will p!55 away 30M before lunchtime this morning, trying to find another way to pretend the Olympics are still viable.

You can't blame the provinces for trying to get a little slice of the grift money.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

This is the biggest problem. Central goverment give money out hoping it might help many businesses in times of need and hope that each city do their part but all these governors of each city and town do whatever they want with the cash once it end up in their hands. And then they go back crying again to ask for more fund. Is the same thing happening around the world. The US especially is gonna be in a world of pain if they keep printing more money to fund these so called cash stimulation.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Ah... Money well spent.

Peter Griffin.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'm afraid that most of the billions of dollars spent on covid19 came with no restrictions. This is on the LDP. They literally just threw money at anyone who asked.

Anyone except the working public. Their voices are never heard by the LDP.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

They could have fixed up their 80's looking aquarium, which is an actual tourist attraction. If I actually heard someone say, Hey let's travel to Noto to see the giant squid, I think I would cry from how pitiful that idea would be.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

This is rural Japan’s version of the Central government dumping billions on the Olympics.

Yep..and rest assured that whatever company or " artist" was commissioned for this eyesore is one way or another connected to the city hall top decision makers. Gotta keep it in the family.

Was interesting to see that this news was published on CNN yesterday, lol

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Hense the squid

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'm afraid that most of the billions of dollars spent on covid19 came with no restrictions. This is on the LDP. They literally just threw money at anyone who asked.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Reuters called Noto's government but the person who answered was not authorised to speak with the press. Japan's government buildings were closed on Wednesday for annual Golden Week holidays.

So, call Thursday. I hardly think this is a Pulitzer Prize scoop in the works.

I'm in the right business, but need better contacts in government to cash in on this covid relief funding scam.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I can think of better ways to spend ¥25,000,000 of COVID19 relief aid!

What a disgusting waste of money!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Don't forget to add in the giant carbon footprint of a giant concrete squid. Utter travesty.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I thought we saw this news last year?

Its funny that this sort of thing happens so often that it’s entirely possible that a completely different small town built a ridiculous squid statue with public money last year too.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Only the japanese domestic tourism to be attracted to these “attractions” as giant squids and so on.

Funniest thing you go there and actually hear lots of “sugoi”s and many camera flashes arould, like you are witnessing one of the 7 wonders.

Japan has some of the most beautiful spots in the world, but LOTS of “places to go” are giant squids alike lol.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Thirty million for THAT???

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Government workers and polititians should not be allowed anywhere near anything finance related. They have zero idea of business. Nanjo City has been operating a splendid new fleet of buses that run around the district for over a year now, with NO PASSENGERS.

I wonder how much of our hard earned tax money is wasted by inept government spending like the giant squid and the useless bus service.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

¥25 million represents just 3.123% of the covid relief grant and hopefully will attract visitors once this crisis is over.

A permanent physical reminder of Covid-19 , but who wants to remember it!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

an aid program aimed at boosting local economies amid the pandemic, according to domestic media.

I think this construction ugly and stupid, but it’s aim is a boosting tourism and economy, per the original aim of the aid program. We can see it like that.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

I thought we saw this news last year?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ishikawa town builds giant squid with COVID relief funds

If this was not a serious matter and was an anecdote... it would probably be one of the best I heard the last couple of years!

Unbelievable and in way beyond hilarious!

13 ( +15 / -2 )

A Japanese coastal town in the western part of the country has drawn ire on social media for using some of the coronavirus relief funds it was given by the government to build a statue of a giant squid in the hopes of boosting tourism.

Your tax yen at work instead of going to relief for distressed workers in a pandemic.

Even if it works in the "goal" of bringing notoriety to the town and attracting tourism(what is with the obsession with promoting tourism in a pandemic?), the direct recipients of this largess with be local inn and restaurant owners already receiving subsidies, not the already downsized staff.

Long live the tentacled squid god of the LDP!

21 ( +24 / -3 )

What an eyesore! (and a squirt in the eye for the local community which could have put the money to much better use.) Once again the crass and clueless class of politicians and bureaucrats whose atrophied imagination does not stretch any further than kitsch and cash have imposed their characteristic imprimatur of bad taste on the public.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

This is rural Japan’s version of the Central government dumping billions on the Olympics.

35 ( +39 / -4 )

The publicity stunt works! Now the town of Noto on the radar, everyone knows of Noto now.

Long live NOTO, of Ishikawa. (Brilliant idea squid person).

You can't buy this kind of publicity.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

A decision this bad must have taken an endless set of meetings and discussions.

37 ( +44 / -7 )

Hey if you don’t have the cash, make a shirasu instead

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

build a statue of a giant squid in the hopes of boosting tourism.

Considering the tentacles…..it might be of interest to hentai anime fans.

Seriously! Are there really people who would travel to visit this statue?

34 ( +40 / -6 )

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