Nice idea, but it requires the Japanese High Command to be a) mind readers and b) not have trust issues.
The problem was that, to take the colonial possessions in SE Asia, the Japanese had to sail past and around the Philippines ... well within range of US Naval and Air Forces and their bases.
Now, if they KNEW the US wouldn't intervene, fine. But since the US had been participating in embargoes against Japan over the Japanese invasion of China, they had to strongly suspect that the US WOULD react ... and NOT react favourably.
And, anyway, they'd have to trust the US to NOT react ... good luck with getting the Jap High Command to do that!
It really doesn't matter whether the US would have reacted, or how they might have reacted, or on what timetable they might have reacted, the Japanese had no option but to plan that they WOULD react ... and that meant they would know that being caught flat footed while their limited shipping and logistic assets were occupied elsewhere AND vulnerable to US intervention was NEVER an option.
Hence the bombing of Pearl and the invasion of the Phillipines.
Author, Space Opera (FGU); RBB #1 (FASA); Road to Armageddon; Farm, Forge and Steam; Orbis Mundi; Displaced (PGD)