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English to Japanese: 台湾：学問の自由が企業の訴訟で脅かされる General field: Science Detailed field: Government / Politics
Source text - English Dr. Ben-Jei Tsuang, a professor at the Department of Environmental Engineering in National Chun Hsing University, is the latest victim of a defamation lawsuit brought on by a big corporation, the Formosa Plastic Group.
Increasingly, big corporations in Taiwan are using defamation lawsuits to silence activists and scholars. In fact, many legal experts suggest that the current criminal defamation law is in violation of international covenants.
Dr. Tsuang worked with a research team to evaluate the environmental impact of 66 factories in Taichung and Yunlin. His team found that heavy metals and dioxins were being released in to the air, close to the Formosa Plastic Group (FPG)'s Six Naphtha Cracking plant. Dr. Tsuang presented his findings at several expert conferences held by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.)
In response, two affiliates of FPG, Formosa Chemicals & Fiber Corporation and Mailiao Power Corporation, filed criminal charges at the Taipei District Prosecutor's office in early April, 2012, seeking NT$40 million (about USD1.33 million) in damages for defamation.
Dr. Tsuang's findings are critical for several civil groups who have been advocating to stop the Kuokuang petrochemical project. In fact, these groups already won the battle, as later FPG failed to persuade any local government in Taiwan to approve their petrochemical project and decided that the project be moved out of Taiwan and relocated to Malaysia in May 2012.
With this in mind, Shih-Wei Lu, a lawyer who is assisting Dr. Tusang's defense team pointed out that the lawsuit is a ‘strategic lawsuit against public participation‘, in other words it is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.
Many scholars and civic groups are demanding the FPG to drop the case. A joint letter by several civil groups states:
We, a coalition of civil groups, would like to thank these researchers, including Dr. Ben-Jei Tsuang. With their diverse expertise, their researches have revealed how FPG’s Six Naphtha Cracking plant has polluted the environment and affected citizens’ health.
The polluter should prove their innocence by providing data to the public. FPG’s Six Naphtha Cracking plant should give the public information of its pollutants emitted into the environment…If FPG cannot provide the evidence that “the air is clean and the scenery is beautiful” around the plants as depicted by its founder Yung-Ching Wang, FPG should drop this lawsuit. Ignoring our suggestions will worsen your corporate image and the society's impression and evaluation of your company.
Dr. Ming-Yi Wu from National Tsing-Hua University also wrote an article [zh] to support Dr. Tsuang:
FPG can ask other researchers to conduct another research and challenge the existing findings. They can turn it into an academic debate…Nevertheless, FPG prefers lawsuits and a large amount of pecuniary compensation instead of research…This FPG lawsuit shows us that our courage to confront a boorish, low-quality corporation is worth 40 million NT dollars.
Even though the Taipei District Prosecutor's Office pointed out that academic freedom is protected by Taiwan's constitution and decided to drop the charge in June 6, 2012, FPG applied to the High Court for an appeal.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tsuang is still facing the civil charge while the judge asked FPG to prepare more evidence for the next court session on September 20, 2012. To show their support and share information about the court case, Dr. Tsuang's students created a Facebook page:
Our teacher is very serious about his research. He works very hard and independently to monitor the quality of Taiwan's environment. We feel that it is totally unjust for him to be prosecuted by FPG without any good reason. Our department needs responsible professors like him and our society needs fearless leaders like him. Students from the Department of Environmental Engineering in National Chun Hsing University will stand by Dr. Ben-Jei Tsuang's side and (work towards) consolidating public support.
Translation - Japanese 国立中興大学 環境工学科教授の Ben-Jei Tsuang（荘秉潔）博士が大企業の一つ、台湾プラスチックグループ（台塑集團、FPG）による名誉棄損訴訟の最も新しい犠牲者である。
Translation - English As you may well know, NEET is a social phenomenon that first became a problem in Britain. However, the NEET problem in Japan seems different from the case in Britain.
Since Britain is a typical hierarchical society, the lower class is handicapped in terms of chances of employment and for receiving vocational training. There are young people who are willing to learn but are deprived of chances for social rise.
The same can be said for France. In a society where a large number of immigrants are taken in, children of immigrants tend to be steered away from chances for education or to receive cultural investment due to its structure. There are huge apartment complexes called HLM (low rent collective housing) in the suburbs of Paris, where immigrants and lower-class inhabitants are geographically isolated.
I have previously interviewed a French woman who worked as a middle school teacher in one of these so called "suburbs (Banlieue)." In such huge apartments, apparently there are absolutely no cultural facilities such as libraries, museums, book stores, theaters, or concert halls. Therefore, children have no chance of coming in contact with anything cultural. Even if a child may have artistic talent, he or she has no chance of finding out that he or she has such talent. To become a soccer player, or a singer or an actor/actress, or a writer. The chances for social rise are limited to professions that require no educational investment.
The NEET problem in Europe is one of the symptoms of hierarchy. Even if one may have the will to rise socially, he or she will not be given the chance. However, the NEET problem in Japan is different from this. Even though chances for social rise are provided, the children are willingly forfeiting this chance. This is what makes this problem in Japan unique.
PhD - Waseda University
Years of translation experience: 8. Registered at ProZ.com: Oct 2012.
I spent five years in public schools in N.Y. (4th grade elementary school to 9th grade junior high school), where I received all classes in English as a regular student, with no special language treatment. I also spent four years as an employee of a U.S.-based firm where I used English in all my daily assignments.
I am currently a university faculty, and so I regularly write academic papers in English (over 30 full papers, over 70 international conference proceedings). Thus, I have deep knowledge of the latest technical terms in this field (Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Technology in general).