TAIPEI (CNA) – To better counter terrorist threats in line with international norms, the government will equip airport police with submachine guns, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said Wednesday.

“The main reason is to fight international terror threats more effectively, following the example of the United States, Japan and the Philippines,” Hsu told the Internal Administration Committee of the Legislative Yuan.

“Submachine guns are standard equipment for airport police in those countries,” he said, noting that key facilities such as oil depots are located near to Taiwan’s airport.

The National Police Agency will be responsible for the purchase and allocation of the weapons, the deployment of which “can be completed in a short period of time,” Hsu said.

The Ministry of the Interior made the announcement in a draft law revision.

Hsu also praised the efforts of police, announcing that since March 4-8, police nationwide conducted 598 raids, detaining 604 persons for the possession of guns and drugs, while also seizing three guns and six kilograms of heroin.

By Chen Chun-hua and Flor Wang