or take carolines.
Right, that’s the best place to stage the USN . . . but there’s already a naval base there silly. 😉
As Japan I like to stage the IJN off of phil, put a blocker to prevent Korea/Japan invasion, and stack the carolines with as many ftr/tac as I need or can spare. Usually US doesn’t have more then 1-2 transports, so it should be safe from an amphib assault with 3-4+ air there. Keep the mainland air on kwansi/FIC to land on carriers and you’re set up for a very heavy counter to any US moves in that direction.
I don’t like to trade ships with US when I can help it and if I have to fight a naval battle I’d rather be set up to hit him as hard as I can with the strength of my powerful airforce. Most of the times the threat is enough and the USN stays away.