I am simply one of those folks who disagrees with attacking Pearl Harbor, under almost every circumstance. So what if that fleet heads for the UK. That is 3 rounds from now, and cannot be used against Germany until round 4. If the Axis is not in a strong economic position by round 4 with a good strangle-hold on Russia by that time as well as possessing a number of UK territories, they might as well surrender.
If Russia took Manchuria, then you consolidate your naval forces to maximize your initial strike on Manchuria (2 BB’s, 2 tranny’s worth of troops, lots of air-support). If not, then use most of the fleet to either take SFE, or Australia. Or use your Phillipine Tranny to assist in India (as you suggest).
But for maximum effect against Russia, you have to go 2-prong as Japan, with the main strike eating away Russian IPC’s to reduce INF builds (making Germany’s job easier), and the second prong weakening UK by taking IPC from them and forcing Russia to defend on 3 fronts: in Karelia, against forces coming through Yakut, and against forces coming north out of Persia or Sinkiang.
Russia cannot hold a large number of territories securely. They can probably build up Novo pretty well, but then cannot also build up in both Evenk and Kaz. So if you sustain 2 prongs against Russia as Japan, you WILL crack through with at least 1 prong to have troops adjacent to Russia; forcing Russia to defend home territory instead of Western frontier, allowing Germany more chance to advance. Or, if the strategic situation is right, you converge your 2 prongs on Novo doubling your strike power there and leaving a sizable force adjacent to Russia and able to strike if able, or to sweep north or southwest to gain additonal IPC’s.
Ignoring Russia is a bad idea, especially early when those extra IPC’s create additional INF every round.
Strike hard, strike fast.