For quite a while, Japan and the US are at approximate naval parity. For both sides, there is a strong temptation to do something. However, this temptation should, in general, be avoided. The reason is that the second side to move between two forces with naval parity in a wide open theater (i.e., the Pacific, not the Med) has a significant advantage. If the first side puts a majority of its forces in one area, than the second player can attack every place else, while if the first player puts a substantial, but not decisive force into an area, the second player can respond with stronger forces.
This is particularly true of the Japanese. The last thing they want to do is to get into a war of attrition with the US; that can't do anything but end badly for the Japanese. Make the Americans (and I mean Americans) come to you, where you can react to them, and have the advantage. If the Americans do it too early, then they will be the ones in trouble; if they wait until it is too late, they won't have time to win the war.
Once they have their defensive perimeter, then the Japanese don't have to do anything; the Allies have to do things, and your goal should be to punish them when they do. Remember, "defense is the stronger form of war".
(I am not talking about submarines here -- those are to be used, because they can't be counterattacked.)
I thought I knew how to play this game....