Every Sunday afternoon, rain or shine, a group gathers at a park in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district, where Japanese studying Chinese and Chinese living in Japan can engage in lively conversation.

The gathering is a Chinese-language circle called Hanyu Jiao, which translates as "Chinese chat session." The topics range from Chinese politics, economy, TV and tourism to cultural differences with Japan.

The circle has evolved to be more than just a language circle. It has become an important platform for building bridges.