Iwao Hakamada in an undated picture released by Kyodo March 27, 2014. (Reuters)

A Japanese man, who has been on death row for 46 years, has now been granted a retrial by a local court, reported human rights NGO Amnesty International.

Iwao Hakamada was sentenced to death in 1968 for the murder of his boss, the man's wife and their two children. Hakamada, who is now 78, is said to have admitted the crime after 20 days of interrogation. But he had later retracted the confession in court. He said he was forced to confess the crime he never committed because he was severely beaten.

Amnesty International revealed that Japanese courts have finally granted a retrial to the prisoner, who is believed to be longest-serving death row inmate in the world. It added in a statement that the Shizuoka district court granted his latest request for a retrial at a hearing earlier on Thursday. Prosecutors have four days to appeal the court's decision.

Hideko Hakamada (C), sister of death-row inmate Iwao Hakamada, speaks with supporters in front of Shizuoka District Court in Shizuoka, central Japan March 27, 2014 (Reuters)