Giant squid statue in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture, generates economic effects of ¥600 million, 22 times of construction cost

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People are seen near, on and in the 13-meter Squid King monument in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture.

NANAO, Ishikawa — A giant squid monument built in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture, to promote the town’s core industry of squid fishing has generated economic effects of about ¥604 million, the municipal government has said.

The monument was funded mainly by a central government COVID-19 relief subsidy. Some people were critical of such use of taxpayers’ money and doubted that the monument would be beneficial. However, after the construction was complete, the economic effects to date stand at over 22 times the cost of construction.

The 13-meter-long, 9-meter-wide statue of a squid made with fiber-reinforced plastic was built at the town’s “Ikanoeki Tsukumall” tourism facility in March last year and named “Ika King” (the Squid King). Visitors enjoy taking pictures of the Squid monument.

The economic effects were calculated by a private consulting company commissioned by the town’s regional promotion department. The company conducted a questionnaire on people visiting the facility from early June to late August. Of the 439 respondents to the survey, about 45% said they came to the facility because they wanted to see the Squid King.

To calculate the Squid King’s economic effects, the company asked the respondents about how much money they spent in and outside the facility and other questions.

The company’s analysis of the Squid King took into account its considerable amount of media appearances, which created advertising effects. In August alone, there were more than 1,000 posts on social media mentioning the monument, indicating that the monument will continue to attract attention.

On the other hand, of the total construction cost of ¥27 million, ¥25 million came from a central government’s subsidy provided to municipalities to deal with the novel coronavirus. Local residents criticized the monument as waste of money and some foreign media covered the topic.

“Compared to the construction cost, the monument has generated considerable effects. I think we may be able to obtain certain understanding from those who are critical of the monument,” a head of the town’s regional promotion department said.