For Nanao Mayor Yoshitaka Chatani, the most effective means of communication regarding relief supplies following the Jan. 1 earthquake in Ishikawa Prefecture was something unexpected: a group chat on the messaging app Line of 300 municipal leaders nationwide.

“It was useful. When I texted (the group) that we needed this and that right after the earthquake, supplies arrived soon after,” Chatani said during an online news conference at the Japan National Press Club on Friday.

In times of natural disaster, there is always a mismatch between what the people in the affected areas need and the relief supplies that are delivered. But Chatani’s Line group allowed him to directly communicate with other mayors who were eager to help.