The Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling Thursday, dismissing a suit filed by a women's rights group that demanded NHK and two production companies pay compensation for altering the content of a documentary on Japan's wartime sexual slavery.

The top court ruled the three media firms were not obliged to produce the TV program in accordance with the plaintiffs' expectations because broadcasters have the right to edit their productions freely, in this case deleting the verdict in a mock tribunal on the sex slaves that found the late Emperor Hirohito and the government guilty.

It is generally recognized by the public that TV programs are altered from their original form as broadcasters edit them, the court said. Thus the trust and expectations the plaintiffs had for the program NHK aired are not subject to legal protection, it added.