Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday called for a future-oriented attitude in Sino-Japanese relations and proposed putting aside differences to further bilateral relations.
"Peace benefits both, while rifts hurt both," said Wen in a speech titled "For Friendship and Cooperation" to the Japanese parliament, the Diet.
In the course of a nation's historical development, both positive and negative experiences become a nation's valuable assets, said Wen, the first Chinese leader to address Japan's parliament in 22 years.
A nation can more directly, profoundly and effectively learn from its own historical experience, and its ability to do so can reflect on the country's cultural richness and faith in its future, he added.
Wen recalled the long history of friendship and exchanges between the two neighbors, from the early exchanges of agricultural techniques between their ancestors to late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai's student days in Japan, which has lasted for more than 2,000 years, only to be disrupted by a 50-plus-year painful, unfortunate history.
Japan's aggression caused great sufferings and tremendous human and economic losses to the Chinese people, Wen said. "The deep scars left in the hearts of the Chinese people are beyond description."
Japan's invasion of China also brought enormous sufferings and pains to the Japanese people, he added.
"While contemplating history, we can have a deeper understanding how peace and cooperation between China and Japan is vital for the two countries and the welfare of their peoples," Wen said.
"For friendship and cooperation, we should remember and learn from historical lessons drawn from miserable days in the past."
When dealing with Sino-Japanese relations, the Chinese government and its people have always advocated taking history as a mirror and looking toward the future, said Wen.
"To reflect on history is not to dwell on hard feelings but to remember and learn from the past in order to open a better future," he said, urging Japan to turn its apologies and commitments into concrete actions.
Since the normalization of Sino-Japanese ties, the Japanese government and Japanese leaders have on many occasions openly acknowledged Japan's invasions and expressed remorse and apologies to countries which became victim of the invasions.
Ensuring the future of Sino-Japanese friendship for generations to come conforms not only with the historical trend and the wishes of the two peoples, but also with the aspirations of Asia and the world as a whole, he said.