Seven affectively-neutral Japanese sentences as uttered with 12 different attitudes are investigated. The listeners were 15 Japanese listeners, 15 French listeners and 20 American listeners. Both non-native listeners had no Japanese language skill. They were asked to choose the speaker’s intended attitudes among the 12 attitudes. Results showed that Japanese listeners recognized all attitudes above chance, but there were some confusion, especially for the expressions of politeness (i.e. sincerity-politeness vs. kyoshuku). However, these two cultural politeness expressions are not recognized by French and American listeners. Especially kyoshuku, a type of politeness that does not occur as conventional expression in occidental society, was incorrectly decoded by French and American listeners, they recognized this politeness as arrogance or irritation.