A court in Saitama has recognized the "right to be forgotten" — the first ruling of its kind in Japan — in a case filed by a man demanding Google Inc. remove three-year-old news reports of his arrest in connection to child prostitution and pornography, according to newly discovered court documents.

This is the first time that a Japanese court has issued a decision referring to the right to be forgotten in ordering the removal of personal information from the Internet, legal experts said. Past decisions in demanding removal of search results cited the right to privacy.

The right to be forgotten has drawn attention since a 2014 European Court of Justice ruling in favor of a Spanish man who had demanded Google delete search results concerning the past seizure of property.