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I came across this spoken sentence in the drama Fumo Chitai:

刷り上がった新聞を少しでも早く輸送したい新聞社にとって高速道路沿いにある印刷工場何としても手に入れたい。

Context: the newspaper company needs a new printing factory near a highway and they were able to secure some land though a dodgy deal with the government on condition that they cancel the publication of a controversial article. The above comment was made by the editor to the journalist whose article was suppressed to justify the cancellation.

I'm a bit confused about the use of にとって and は. To me the main object is clearly 高速道路沿いにある印刷工場 (print factory along an expressway), so why is は and not が (or を) being used?

Also, the thing that 'wants to get' (手に入れたい) the factory is the 新聞社, so why にとって and not は?

What would be different about stating it this way?: 刷り上がった新聞を少しでも早く輸送したい新聞社高速道路沿いにある印刷工場何としても手に入れたい。 = The company, which needs to quickly transport printed newspapers, wants to acquire by any means possible a printing factory located alongside an expressway.

  • Any chance you can provide 2 or 3 of the preceding sentences? They are likely to be relevant to the use of topic markers. – dainichi Dec 24 '15 at 1:08
  • Sure, here are the preceding sentences: (部長)その記事は 没だ。 (田原)どういうことですか!? (部長)うちが高速道路沿いにある護国寺の国有地の払い下げを申請し全日本遺族会と争っているのは知っているよな? (田原)はい。 (部長)刷り上がった新聞を少しでも早く輸送したい新聞社にとって高速道路沿いにある印刷工場は何としても手に入れたい。 – VeryCommonName Dec 24 '15 at 1:32
  • Just in case you didn't know, objects and adverbial phrases, not only subjects, can be marked as topics with は. So it's a subtle question of why the object is the topic here. Also, I feel the にとって adds the feeling of "as a newspaper company...", which a plain は wouldn't express – dainichi Dec 24 '15 at 3:39
  • I think I've seen before objects marked with は, but I've never really understood why. For "as a newspaper company", wouldn't にとしては or にとっては be used? – VeryCommonName Dec 24 '15 at 8:11
  • としてはand にとっては are just topicalized versions of として and にとって. – dainichi Dec 24 '15 at 22:47
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印刷工場 is the main object of the verb 手に入れたい as you say, and simultaneously the topic of the whole sentence. In addition, it could convey a contrastive sense, depending on the context (either way, it's the topic after all). That's why it's marked with は.

Edit: Now I'm thinking it may not be the main object. Anyway it's the topic.

Difference between 刷り上がった新聞を少しでも早く輸送したい新聞社は高速道路沿いにある印刷工場 何としても手に入れたい is that 新聞社 is the topic and 印刷工場 is not topicalized in this sentence.

  • Thank you. Looks like I need to read up on objects that are simultaneously the topic. – VeryCommonName Dec 26 '15 at 6:54

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