In Midway, the Japanese player gets only three (airborne) searches per turn. What's worse, he only only gets to search "areas" within 12 zones of his ships, while the American's Midway based planes get four searches per turn, across the whole board.
That means that the Americans can track the Japanese player's progress from the beginning of the game (first day), while the Japanese player doesn't have a chance find American ships until the middle of the first day at the earliest. And only if the American player isn't any good at hiding his ships.
One proposal was to give the Japanese player a fourth search. A second rule of the game is to allow "ship" searches. That is to say, that the Japanese player can search any area in which he has ships. Late the first day, he receives a reinforcement of four weak cruisers that are almost useless for defense, but can be used the second day (and later) for ship searches. That's potentially four more areas that can be searched by ships, to complement airborne searches.
A house rule that I played with years ago was to allow area searches by combat squadrons, that is one torpedo or dive bomber squadron per area searched. These units had to be put in a separate group, and could not be used for combat the same, or the following turn. And they were subject to the seven square distance rule. Nevertheless, they afforded the Japanese player the chance to "blanket" a portion of the board with searches.
What means have players used to compensate for the problem of the Japanese player having so few searches? Or are the better players so good that three searches is "enough?"