Fans tried to keep them together with a crowd-funding campaign and online petition.
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4 Jan 2017 - 1:26 PM  UPDATED 4 Jan 2017 - 1:26 PM

Japanese boy band SMAP announced they would be disbanding at the start of 2017, in August last year, which came as a shock to their devoted fans.

As a result fans put an advertisement in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper – a respected Japanese publication - at the end of December pledging for their idols to stay together.

The paid ad ran for eight pages and was funded by an online crowd-funding campaign, with donations from nearly 13, 000 fans The Japan Times reports.

Japanese boy band SMAP to break up after 25 years together
The J-Pop quintet will disband at the end of this year, after 25 years of performing together across Asia.

Fans also launched an online petition calling for the group to stay together. It collected just over 370, 000 signatures. However, the boys disbanded.

SMAP formed 28 years ago, in 1988. During their formal announcement, they gave no explanation as to why they were disbanding.

There are five members in the group; Shingo Katori, Goro Inagaki, Masahiro Nakai, Takuyu Kimura and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi.

They have been very popular during their long stint together and many fans are devastated by the recent news.

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