Sunil Wijesinha, Chairman of Watawala Plantations PLC, has been honoured with the prestigious ‘The Order of the Rising Sun’ by the Government of Japan. This esteemed decoration was conferred upon him for his remarkable and enduring contributions to enhancing the Japan-Sri Lanka relationship.
Established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji, the Order of the Rising Sun recognizes individuals who have accomplished distinguished achievements in international relations, promoting Japanese culture, and preserving the environment. Mizukoshi Hideaki, the Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, conferred the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, upon Wijesinha, honouring him with the oldest decoration and third-highest honour awarded by the Japanese government.
Wijesinha, the former President of the Japan Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association (JASTECA), has tirelessly advocated for promoting Japan’s innovative organizational management systems in Sri Lanka. His dedicated efforts have introduced concepts such as ‘5S’ (a system for organizing spaces for efficient, effective, and safe work), “Quality Circles” (involving non-executive employees in quality and productivity improvement projects), Total Quality Management, and Kaizen (a concept focused on improving organizational activities) to Sri Lanka.
One of his pioneering achievements was the establishment of JASTECA, where he played a pivotal role as one of the founding members. Under his leadership, JASTECA became a catalyst for introducing and disseminating Japanese management systems in Sri Lanka. He also initiated an award program to acknowledge and celebrate Sri Lankan companies that successfully implemented the 5S system, further promoting the adoption of efficient and effective workplace practices.
In addition to these endeavours, Wijesinha organized numerous international conferences on Japanese-style management and 5S in Sri Lanka, authored articles in newspapers and magazines, and delivered local and international lectures. His dedication to spreading the benefits of Japanese management systems has profoundly impacted Sri Lanka’s business landscape.
Wijesinha’s contributions extended beyond advocacy and education; he was commissioned as an adviser to the Government of Sri Lanka, where he imparted his expertise on the Japanese management system. Furthermore, he provided valuable support to both Sri Lankan and Japanese companies interested in investing in Sri Lanka, fostering economic cooperation and mutual understanding between the two nations.