As Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Japan and China (1988–1990) and Director for Japanese Affairs (1985–1988) at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Fukushima gained a reputation as one of the most effective trade negotiators between the US and Japan.
He was largely responsible for the success in opening Japanese markets to US products and services during that period. He gained particular fame after a memo he wrote ("Repairing the U.S.-Japan Relationship," January 4, 1994) ended up on the desk of US President Bill Clinton. Clinton added favorable annotations and circulated it widely.
After leaving government, Fukushima entered the Japanese corporate world as vice-president of AT&T in Japan and later as president of Arthur D. Little and NCR in Japan. He is currently the head of Airbus in Japan.