Challenge: find a map of the Pacific Ocean that includes both Japan and California. Or that focuses on any of the island nations in between.
One of the casualties of mapping a three-dimensional planet on two-dimensional paper is the part of the world that is split between the edges of the paper. Usually, this is the Pacific. As Sarah Palin made famous in the 2008 presidential campaign, as an Alaskan, she can see Russia from her house. While I admit that for Palin, this is an exaggeration, but for the residents of St. Lawrence Island, this view is a reality. In fact, they are as likely (if not more) to speak Russian than English and have the capability of kayaking to Russia if so desired. But your average world map makes that distance look infinite.