In contrast to the special position of access enjoyed by ‘incorporated interest groups’ like the business community and local educational administrators, another set of education policy actors have virtually no official avenues for influencing government decisions. Typically, these ‘opposition interest groups’ are excluded from bureaucratic advisory councils, greatly limited in their official and unofficial contacts with government policy-makers and isolated in general by an official attitude which places them outside the circle of power. What is more, these groups have been locked in this position at least since the formation of the united LDP in 1955 and appear likely to remain excluded as long as Japan remains wedded to its current predominant party power structure.