President Carter flies to Clinton, Mass., this afternoon for the first in a series of "town meetings," one of the programs designed by his staff to help lessen what they see as the isolation of the presidency.

This first working trip outside of Washington includes two other staff-designed events, as Energy/Environment Round Table discussion in Charleston, W. Va., on Thursday afternoon, and a speech to the permanent representatives of member nations in the United Nations' General Assembly Hall Thursday night.

Presidential press secretary Jody Powell said yesterday the U.N. speech was contemplated before Carter became President, as a way of presenting". . . to the American people and to the world at large a general view of this administration's priorities in foreign policy."

It will not be a "forum to make major initiatives in foreign policy," Powell said. He termed the speech "a broad-brush painting of the foreign policy horizon."

The Clinton meeting is not a regular "town meeting," but one set up especially for this occasion, with live television coverage.

Carter's Energy/Environment Round Table, a discussion with 16 other people, before a live audience will be carried live on radio. The other participants range from Interior Secretary Cecil D. Andrus and White House energy adviser James R. Schlesinger to West Virginia Gov. Jay Rockefeller to Herbert E. Jones Jr., president of the Amherst Coal Co., and Carole Ferrell, identified by the White House only as a "consumer."

The White House officially announced yesterday that Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda will come to Washington March 20 for talks March 21 and 22 with Carter.

In other White House announcements:

The President was "very pleased by the House vote Monday to authorize him to cut off U.S. imports of Rhodesian chrome. Powell said the vote "will contribute immeasurably toward avoiding major bloodshed and violence in Southern Africa. . . "

Barry Jagoda, Carter's television consultant, said an estimated 20 million adults over age 18 listened to some portion of the President's call-in show earlier this month. He estimated there were several million more listeners under 18. Jagoda has said Carter plans to do the show again at au as yet unchosen future date.