In a rare speech to Japan's Parliament in the second day of a three-day trip to the country, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao bypassed tough rhetoric over the historical differences between the two countries and underlined the huge stakes involved in the relationship. Wen's speech was the first in 20 years by a Chinese leader, the Wall Street Jounal reported. Wen skipped the usual calls for an apology for Japan's war on China but expressed hope that the improved relations between the two countries was an "objective fact" and that they would focus on "the need to build up strategic mutual benefits" which would be "going with the flow and following our citizens' wishes." Wen's high-profile trip to Japan has spurred speculation of a faster de-thawing of relations, but the two countries have studiously avoided discussions of the thornier issues between them, including disputed territory in the East China Sea.
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