Japan has lots of young people who are out of work or not even in the hunt for a job. The government estimates that 850,000 people, from teens through to their 30s, fall into the category of NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). Then there are the "freeters," youths who only work odd jobs -- out of choice or due to the shortage of full-time employment.

But Kidzania Tokyo might be able to change that. At this indoor amusement park, which recently opened at upscale shopping mall LaLaport Toyosu in eastern Tokyo, every visitor -- from age 2 to 12 -- is expected to work. Well, sort of work.

During a visit to this amusement park/career role-playing center on its Oct. 5 grand opening day, four school-age boys, all in red uniforms, tried their hand at working as gas station attendants, learning how to lead a customer's car into the station, fill gas and wipe car windows. But really, they looked more interested in test-driving the shiny red, childsize replica convertible car in front of them.