The city of Hiroshima says at least 95 countries and the European Union are expected to send ambassadors and other representatives to an August 6 ceremony to mark the anniversary of the atomic bombing on the city.
City officials announced an outline of the Peace Memorial Ceremony on Wednesday.
The officials said Britain, France and Russia, which possess nuclear weapons, will send representatives, and Israel -- believed to be a nuclear power -- has also expressed its intention to attend. But the officials said China and India said they will be absent. They added they have so far not received any reply from the United States or North Korea.
This year's ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. August 6, as usual, at the Peace Memorial Park. The lists of victims of the bombing, including the names of those who died over the past year, will be placed at a cenotaph. Participants will observe a moment of silence at 8:15 -- the exact time the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945.
Mayor Kazumi Matsui will read a peace declaration, and two elementary school students will announce the children's pledge to work for peace.
One of the students, Tadahiro Ishibashi, said he will express their wish for peace from his heart, so that never again will people be killed or harmed in such large numbers.