I disagree Ozone, if you take the time to tot up the toal IPC count of both the axis and the allies forces, they both come to about 450 IPCs I think (not including IC’s). I don’t have the actual figures with me, but they are of that magnitude and they are within about 10 or 20 IPCs of each other.
Given the amount of carnage the axis generaly cause on T1, ie sink british fleet, and pearl harbour, after T1 the axis is usually significantly better off wrt troops and actually outguns the allies.
The problem is that Germany is overstretched and japan is too far away from the allies, so the 3-on-1 europe situation develops, and it is that which outguns germany.
As for what Japan should do with their fleet, there is no one right answer, and you must balance the threats with the actual costs. You won’t be able to take the states, but you can worry the US into thinking you might .