The protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989 were a huge news story around the world. But part of the reason for that was a fluke of history. The foreign media was already in Beijing — at the invitation of the Chinese government.
There were no smiles or warmth and no lingering chit-chat, but the leaders of China and Japan actually shook hands in front of the cameras. And even that small step is a good sign for a troubled relationship.