The 25-year-old has joined the Whitecaps from J.League club Kashiwa Reysol on a free transfer. Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not released.
Kashiwa's all-time leading scorer, who has netted 92 goals in 260 appearances, and his arrival has Vancouver head coach Carl Robinson for the 2016 MLS season.
"Masato has a very good goalscoring record and we are always looking at adding to the group," Robinson said in a statement.
"He has a natural ability to find space in the box, which generates goalscoring opportunities. He is technically good with both feet and, as always required, he is a hard working player.
“Masato can play as a lone forward, or in a partnership, and is able to play wide when called upon."
Four-time Japan international Kudo, who has scored 10 goals in 27 AFC Champions League outings, added: "I am thrilled to join Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the new season.
“I am hoping to score as many goals as possible and help lead the team to victory. I am also really looking forward to playing in front of the great supporters at BC Place."
Scouting Vancouver's newest striker. WATCH: https://t.co/dc0S5lUoSa#VWFCpic.twitter.com/BIAXk9DOvG
— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) December 30, 2015