Shuck-shuck is usually a good American strategy. But there are always exceptions to the rule, stone-scissors-paper style. This game is an exception.
Japan vs. US is seldom played by the Axis, because it is the least promising (as discussed in the next paragraph). Instead, the Axis typically concentrate on either the UK or Russia, to make use of their advantage on the Eurasian continent, and hope that the US remains isolated. To counter this, theorists like Don Rae developed the shuck-shuck strategy for the US.
Ordinarily, Japan vs. US is the least favorable to the Axis, because Japan starts with 25 IPCs, versus 36 for the US. (I'm using the strengths of the Classic edition.) This will change to 29 for Japan vs. 32 for the US after Japan captures the two US-controlled Chinese territories. That's a pretty even match that should lead to a stalemate. Then the UK (30 IPCs) and Russia (24 IPCs) have a decided advantage in Europe against Germany's 32 IPCs. (If Japan focused on Eurasia, the Axis would have an advantage of 57 to 54 IPCs.)
In this case, the UK should run shuck-shuck, or build a factory in South Africa, anything to divert the Germans from Russia, and let the U.S. fight Japan. Instead, the U.S. soldiers involved in shuck-shuck would have done better to defend their homeland. In essence, the allies lost because they traded the whole US for Japanese Asia.
It is noteworthy that in axis and allies, America is at a fraction of its historical strength (more like 90 than 36). In the "real war," America had the potential of pursuing a European-based strategy, shuck-shuck or another one, and a Pacific war against Japan. In the game, it has to be a choice of one or the other, and America made the wrong choice in the game.