From: Winnipeg, MB
Yep, the same sort of specialized ASW night ops implemented in a limited region directly south of the British Isles (with all the logistical benefits that implies) probably wouldn't translate to the Japanese-controlled Pacific. The map below highlights the scale of the problem:
Japanese submarines sit un-attacked for days in Allied ports. Why exactly did Allied radar work in the Bay of Biscay but it didn't work in Allied port hexes in the Pacific? In late 1943 in a present PBEM there is a Japanese submarine sitting spotted in the port Madang. Mere destroyers on ASW don't seem to be able to find them. Just curious as to why radar equipped a/c at the airbase in that hex don't even get the option to conduct ASW OPs at night?
In this case mentioned directly above your point is totally irrelevant. Although the Bay of Biscay may have constrained German submarines to specific transit areas there is no strange electro-magnetic anomaly covering the whole Pacific including Allied airbases and ports that allows Japanese submarines to exist unmolested in such hexes for turn after turn.
No point railing at what the developers chose to leave out of the game - what we have is it. If you can't do an ASW mission, set a search mission with range of 0 or 1, altitude 1000 feet. You might get a contact and attack.
Another thing about ASW in this game - if you put too many assets in the same hex the game engine seems unable to sort out which group gets contact and attack rolls. If I have more than two ASW TFs in the hex I almost never get an attack - night or day. I just went through two months of trying to hit the subs off PH, with all the bomber squadrons and patrol squadrons participating, plus carrier DB and TB squadrons. Hardly ever got a solid detection and attack even though ASW skills were working up into the 50 point category (squadrons trained while doing ASW and search). I began standing down squadrons and sending some of my DDs away on other mission or for upgrades/conversions and suddenly one of my Cats got an attack on a sub and reported a hit on a sub. Sinking sounds were heard at the end of the phase during the "Ships conduct repairs" step. There were no other enemy ships in danger of sinking at the time.
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth