From: Boston, London, Hoboken, now Warwick, NY
As GA mentioned, large ambushes work well. If he wants to hit some bases to your rear, so be it. Longer range means more ops losses. If you are going to defend something, really defend it, trying to defend everything means not defending anything terribly well - think of all or nothing protection in BBs. Let shells penetrate the bow, but not the engine rooms or magazines. And you did not say whether the 4Es were being escorted. If not, bring every heavily armed Japanese fighter to the party. That means every twin engine fighter you have, as they tend to have greater striking power and better durability. They can hurt 4Es, but you don't want them going up against Allied fighters. And as mentioned before, if you can nail his 4Es on the ground - do it. Night air attacks are OK, but naval bombardment can really hurt. And if you can pull it off, multiple naval bombardments on the same night could close his base, and if he is not on a rail line you can wash, rinse, repeat and kill a bunch of airframes - and as mentioned, they are not an unlimited resource. You can also add in airstrikes to add to the damage depending on AAA, CAP, etc.
IanR - thanks for that splitting air units up to get the extra airframes/pilots. I have also maximized pilots in front line groups (normally that tops out at 50% more than TOE), but obviously anything that increases the numbers allows greater operational tempo without driving up fatigue too much.