After several attempts to have the Japanese martial art added to the programme, Tokyo will see karate's Olympic debut.
Competition will consist of form (kata) and combat (kumite) in three weight divisions.
Over 24 world championship events since 1970, Japan has dominated the medal count with 198, including 90 gold - well clear of nearest rival France (55 gold) - so the host nation can expect considerable success.
Competition will take place at Nippon Budokan, a legacy venue dating back to Tokyo 1964.
Alexandrea Anacan will be New Zealand's inaugural Olympic karate athlete, contesting the women's kata.
Alexandrea Anancan - women's kata