The number of new syphilis cases reported in Japan has exceeded 10,000 for two years in a row, a report by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases has shown.

It is unclear why new cases have shot up, reaching 10,000 two months earlier than last year, when cases topped the threshold for the first time since the current survey method was introduced in 1999.

The health ministry is calling on the public to get tested if they have concerns about possible infection.