This isn't about conspiracy theory, it is just sound judgement. Look at this from a business side. What would be there incentive to inform us until the very lastest point when then are "washed over" about everything happening? If they made some sort of announcement that everything is halted, wouldn't their stock drop drastically and people would make other investments is different companies?
I am not trying to add conspiracy, I am just trying to look at it in the incentive-based perspective similar to what they said in the book Freakonomics.
I want nothing more than to be completely wrong because i really could use their next generation camera. Hopefully the japanese people and canon plants are out of the 50 mile radius because otherwise, i doubt there will be much going on for awhile.
The production process is not that simple that you can just issue a snap judgement. First, the condition of the plant must be determined, and that could take weeks, since the building structure must be carefully examined. Then, tools must all be checked and re-calibrated. Electrical power is a big problem, if the power blinks for even a second, in chip manufacturing processes, it will take weeks to recover. And the rolling blackouts in Japan are uncoordinated and causing a big mess. All the chip plants are closed.
First, the Japanese culture is very different from that of the USA. They are deliberate, and tend to hold back on announcements until they have all the data. You see this happening with the nuclear plants, they delay information, or don't tell all, but let it trickle out when they feel the information is reliable.
Japanese manufacturers have been using just in time processes, so if a plant shuts down, it is only a week or so until they affect everyone. Then, its very difficult to start up again since they all depend on each other to some degree. Company A can't make products until they get something from B, who needs something from C, and so on.
If a company making chips damaged their chip lithography equipment, for example, they can't get it replaced by Canon, because Canon needs parts from affected companies, and likely it will be chips, since most equipment uses the high end chips manufactured by several companies in Sendai.
It is a vicious circle.
Don't expect much until June, if then. There is already a run on for popular photography products, prices are jumping, as buyers and ebay resellers clean out supplies.