In the Budget Committee in the Upper House of the Diet in November last year, Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said "There is a baseless rumor created by the foreign media by showing people wearing masks".
Not surprising from the minister, who, as the minister in charge of national strategy in March 2011, said "Let's all cheer for TEPCO!" after 3 reactors blew up in one way or another, and radioactive plumes swept through parts of Tohoku and much of Kanto, as TEPCO and the national government were implementing the totally unnecessary "blackout" to scare the nation into continuing to accept nuclear power generation even after the Fukushima disaster.
Not surprisingly, he is a politician elected from Fukushima Prefecture.
Like many politicians in their 40s and 50s in Japan, Genba looks like a third-grader with wrinkles. Failed to mature, or remaining youthful. Take your pick.