The Japanese government overpaid ¥2.3bn (US$10m) in a beef buyback scheme launched to help the beef industry cope with the discovery of BSE in the country last September. Agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister Tsutomu Takebe revealed yesterday [Tuesday] that farmers will not be asked to return the excess money. Among those payments that should not have been made were those for meat frozen prior to the discovery of the mad cow disease, as the scheme only intended to reimburse producers for meat frozen after that date.