Okinawa is a small Japanese island with huge strategic value.

US soldiers, sailors and air force crew have been based there for decades. And all that time their presence has sown anger among locals.

In their latest protest on Sunday, thousands of Okinawans again demanded the closure of US military bases. They are upset about the recent rape and murder of a local woman.

The man accused of the attack is a civilian employee at a US army compound in Okinawa.

Japan is home to about 50,000 US troops who are just one key part of America's vast global military presence.

The United States has between 700 and 800 bases around the world.

What can the US do to placate Okinawans? And are strategic military bases in the East China Sea facing shutdown?

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault


Tomohiko Taniguchi - Special Adviser to the cabinet of Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister

Kozue Akibayashi - Professor of Gender and Peace Studies at Doshisha University

Michael Penn - President of Shingetsu News Agency and commentator on Japanese politics

Source: Al Jazeera