Re: Could Japan have won in the Pacific . . .
In short, Polish, the A-Go plan was typically Japanese, i.e., too complex and focused only on the tactical rather than the strategic. No, the Japanese might not have held Midway for long, but its capture might well have made Hawaii untenable, at least for a a year or so. Now consider, had the Japanese taken Hawaii using Midway as a base of operations, with its repair and fuel facilities reasonably intact, we would really have had our butts hung out to dry. I think it is well to remember that at that time--mid 1942--it was the Japanese Navy, not the American, that ruled the Pacific Theatre. Granted, the Japanese had little staying power in a long war of attrition, but they began the war with one hell of a powerful navy. That is precisely why Yamamoto warned that Japan must win quickly if it were to win at all.
--Pistolenschutze (Pistol Shooter)