Some of the other reasons stated for the selection of this kanji was the teamwork and bonds between the players of the women national soccer team who won the world cup, and also the bonds between people created by the use of social networks in relation to other disasters around the world and also to the democratization in the middle east.
Although this kanji is related to the earthquake, it has a positive and optimistic ring to it, while the runner ups were a little bit more negative. In second place came 「災」 which means "disaster", and in third came 「震」 which means "shake" or "shiver". In fact all the characters in the top ten this year were directly related to the earthquake.
The video below shows the unveiling ceremony and some interviews with random people about what they thought were the kanji of the year.