Japan had a good many long range submarines that were quite capable of operating out of the Home Islands, Truk, or Kwajalein. Land-based aircraft were sauce for the goose, and really had little if anything to do during the various stages of the Decisive Battle in the 1920's & 1930's. The G3M & G4M bombers changed that, but the G4M, trained pilots, especially those with torpedo training, and the airborne torpedoes themselves, were still in very short supply. Further, the island bases were not interlocking defense-wise...They were capable of flying in aircraft based in one Island group to another island group, but the distances involved were to far apart for one island base to take an active participation in the defense of another island base. I'd say it was a matter of very heated debate, as opposed to limbo. Yamamoto had won over the Navy General Staff, at the cost of including the Aleutians invasion to Midway. The Army was the hold up, but, IIRC, they were more concerned with an open-ended possibility of preparing for an invasion of Hawaii, and the resulting drain on their forces, after the successful conclusion of operations. Yes, in that case, Doolittle's raid washed away the IJA's qualms concerning Midway. You can read through the carrier TROMs over at combinedfleet.com to see that this might be a slight exaggeration. Although, I am sure that the operating tempo was a good bit higher than peacetime.