The daughter of pachinko mogul Chang-Woo Han, one of Japan's 50 richest businessmen, has launched proceedings at the District Court of Guam in an effort to build her case against her father's lawsuit.
Marina Haba alleges her father's lawsuit for the immediate return of a 480 million-yen loan, about $4.6 million, is grounded in his disapproval of her marriage to Joe Wallace, an African-American professional basketball player, according to court documents.
"My father did not approve of my relationship with Joe. He never has," she states in court documents. "My father has made it plain that he does not approve of my relationship with a black man."
Han, chief executive officer of Maruhan Co. Ltd., which has a subsidiary in Guam, is also trying to reclaim company shares he gave her years ago "without condition," court documents state.
Rodney J. Jacob of Calvo Fisher & Jacob LLP filed the application at the District Court of Guam on Haba's behalf.
Haba, in the district court filing, aims to obtain documents from Maruhan Guam regarding her ownership interest in Maruhan Guam and its affiliates, which her father has "wrongfully attempted to take from her in an effort to force her to divorce her husband."
Han migrated from Korea to Japan after World War II and shortly after graduating from Hosei University took over his brother-in-law's pachinko operation in Kyoto. The business grew and Maruhan Co. Ltd. operates other leisure-related businesses, including bowling alleys, golf driving ranges and amusement facilities.
"Many years ago, my father gave me shares in Maruhan, which after various stock splits currently represents 1.5 million shares," Haba states in documents. "I understand that my father gave the same number of shares to my four brothers ... and my younger sister. I understand that my shares are currently worth many millions of dollars."
Haba said she met Wallace in 1991 as a college student while he played professional basketball for Isuzu Motors Gigacats in Japan. After moving to Spain, he invited Haba to join him. She and Wallace lived together, moving around the world as he played for new teams. In the mid-1990s, they ended their relationship and she returned to Japan. In 2011, they reconnected on social media. At this point, they were both divorced with children. They soon got married.
"I know that my decision to marry him greatly angered my father," she stated. "When my father learned that Joe and I were back together, he began to take steps to punish me. My father knew that the only way to get to me was financially."
Haba contends that her father interfered with regular dividend payments from the shares he'd given her, contrary to her rights.
"I was forced to hire counsel to try to correct the situation," Haba states in documents.
She said in September 2019 she met with her father to discuss her financial situation and he agreed to a loan but insisted she leave her husband.
"My father also made other outrageous demands, such as that I hand over all of my jewelry and cash to him, that I turn over my passport to him so that I would have to ask his permission to leave Japan, and that I agree not to go out for 'unnecessary' social engagements," she states in documents.
But a month after receiving the loan, she was seen with her husband in Tokyo and "learned that this infuriated my father," documents state. It was also around October 2019 when she learned her father removed her name from the company's shareholder registry and tried to take back company shares he'd given her years ago without condition.
"I have been left without choice but to file an action in the Kyoto District Court against Maruhan and my father to reclaim my shares in Maruhan," Haba states in court documents.