“I feel the weight of my responsibility,” Mr. Onizuka said at the Saturday press conference.
He added: “After the first report of the incident came at 11:30 a.m., and the situation was revealed, it was the height of the guilt and regret I’ve felt in my 27 years in law enforcement.”
The 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami shot Mr. Abe with a homemade gun, and police have accused him of holding a grudge against him because he believed he had belonged to a specific organization he disliked.
Mr. Abe was pronounced dead on Friday, after five hours of emergency medical procedures.
He was speaking in support of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party when the incident took place. Japanese Upper House elections are still scheduled to commence on Sunday.
The country also has strict laws regulating civilian gun ownership.
President Biden said he was “stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened” about Mr. Abe‘s death.
“The United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief,” Mr. Biden said. “I send my deepest condolences to his family.”
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