Syphilis, a classic sexually transmitted disease nearly eradicated decades ago, is seeing a resurgence in Japan, with the reported number of patients in 2017 topping 5,000 for the first time in 44 years.

According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the number of people diagnosed with syphilis rocketed to 5,770 in 2017, more than double the 2,697 seen in 2015 and far exceeding the 621 in 2010.

In November 2016 the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry launched a PR battle against sexually transmitted diseases including syphilis, tapping Sailor Moon — a female fighter from the eponymously titled popular manga/anime series — as its advocate and printing leaflets of the character quipping, "I will punish you if you don't get tested!!"