• Kyodo

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Thousands of fans of SMAP, one of Japan’s most popular pop groups that is set to break up as the year ends, placed a newspaper advertisement on Friday pledging to keep rooting for their idols.

The eight-page ad, which included messages such as “We love SMAP forever,” was paid for through an online crowdfunding campaign that raised about ¥39 million ($334,000) by early Wednesday morning from over 12,800 fans.

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