Japan's Emperor Naruhito plants rice at Imperial Palace paddy field

Japan's Emperor Naruhito has planted rice seedlings in an annual ritual at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Wearing rubber boots, the Emperor entered the 240-square-meter paddy field on Tuesday morning and planted two types of seedlings. All 20 grew from seeds he sowed last month and are now about 15 to 20 centimeters high.

The planting tradition was started by his grandfather, Emperor Showa, to promote rice farming.

The rice will be harvested in the autumn and used in Shinto rituals such as the Niiname-sai harvest festival in November.